After a divorce, Florida residents experience many changes. They will not live in the same homes, no longer share finances and will have to split their time with their children. They need to make very important decisions about all these changes.
Some of the more difficult decisions can be about caring for their children. In most cases, parents split their time with their children according to the parenting plan they decide on at the time of the divorce. Acceptable parenting plans must contain certain elements.
Basic requirements of a parenting plan
Under Florida law, a parenting plan must, at a minimum:
- State how the parents will share the responsibilities for the children’s daily activities
- State which parent will be responsible for making health care decisions or how they will both be involved in the decision making process
- State how they will share school-related responsibilities and how they will decide on the school for the children
- State how the parents will share responsibilities for other activities of the children
- State how the parents will communicate with the children whether by phone or other types of technology
These are just the minimum requirements. Parenting plans can be as extensive as parents need or want them to be. However, every parenting plan must ultimately be in the best interests of the children and not necessarily what is in the parents’ best interests.
Custody and parenting time decisions can be both emotional and complicated. The children’s lives, like the parents’ lives, will be completely different after the divorce. Parents and courts need to develop plans that try to make the transition as easy as possible for the children. Knowing the factors used to determine what is best for children is important and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.