Florida law requires a parenting plan to be approved by the court in all cases involving time-sharing with minor children, even when time-sharing is not in dispute. If the parties cannot agree to a plan or if the parents agree to a plan that is not approved by the court, the court will establish a plan with or without the use of parenting plan recommendations.
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It is extremely important to consult with an experienced family law attorney when developing a parenting plan to ensure that your plan meets Florida’s legal requirements. The attorneys at Davis, Smith & Jean LLC are experienced in all aspects of time-sharing and parenting plans.
Each parenting plan must meet minimum requirements set forth by Florida law. For example, the plan must describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child; must include the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent; must designate who will be responsible for health care, school-related matters and other activities; and must describe in adequate detail the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child or children.
Courts in Florida make determinations about time-sharing based on the best interests of the child in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The court considers numerous factors to determine a time-sharing schedule and parenting plan that it believes will best suit the children. Some of those factors include:
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(a) should be used when developing a parenting plan. If the case involves supervised time-sharing, the Supervised/Safety Focused Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(b) or a similar form should be used. If the case involves relocation pursuant to Section 61.13001, Florida Statutes, then a Relocation/Long Distance Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(c) or a similar form should be used.