Parenting Plans in Florida

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Parenting Plans in Florida

As of Oct. 1, 2008 Florida law now requires parenting plans in Florida for all couples with children who seek a divorce. Prior to that people used terms such as custody agreement or visitation schedule. Florida law has had a strong public policy about children and divorce for several decades.

parenting plans in Florida - image shows a child holding the arms of two adults

Shared parental responsibility means that both parents discuss and decide major decisions affecting the child.

There are no set rules for shared decision making, but the new law requires a description of how the parents will share the daily tasks of child upbringing and time sharing with each parent.

When developing parenting plans in Florida, consider how the decisions have been made in the past and what changes may be needed to that process now that the parents will live apart.

Parenting Plans in Florida: Law and Forms

At the bottom of this article I have provided a sample of parenting plans in Florida for you to review.

Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes states: It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys of childrearing.

Florida law divides parenting issues into three categories: parental responsibility, time sharing, and support. The law requires divorced parents share parental responsibility for their child after divorce, unless shared responsibility is detrimental to the child. The goal is to keep both parents involved in the life of the child.

Parenting plans in Florida are required in all cases involving time-sharing with minor children, even when time-sharing is not in dispute.

When Should the Florida Parenting Plan Form Be Used?

Parenting plans in Florida should be used in any divorce case with children. If an agreement has been reached, both parties must sign the Florida Parenting Plan and have their signatures witnessed by a notary public or deputy clerk.

What Should Be Included in Parenting Plans in Florida?

At a minimum, parenting plans in Florida must describe in adequate detail:

  • How the parties will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the children
  • The time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor children will spend with each parent
  • A designation of who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities, and
  • The methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the children.

 

The best interests of the children is the primary consideration in all parenting plans in Florida.

This standard Florida Parenting Plan form does not include every possible issue that may be relevant to the facts of your case. The Florida Parenting Plan should be as detailed as possible to address the time-sharing schedule. Additional provisions should be added to address all of the relevant factors. The parties should give special consideration to the age and needs of each child.

These are the decisions that have long-term consequences in your child’s life. Some examples involve the choice of:

  • school
    child care facility
    camps
    doctors
    psychotherapy
    surgery
    other long-term medical treatment
    sports and other out-of-school activities
    trips and passports

 

Some additional decision-making areas to consider for parenting plans in Florida include:

Transportation – How do the gets get between homes? Where is the exchange point? What are the details of transportation between the two homes? Who is driving? What time? If you use the school as the exchange point, what happens when school is not in session?

Relocation – Under what circumstances will the custodial parent be able to move away with the child? (If you do not decide this now, you will have to follow the procedures of Fla. Statute 61.13001.

Education – Who will attend school conferences and how will parents receive notice? How will each parent receive other school information? How will extra school or tutoring fees be divided? Will private school tuition be paid and for how long? Although not required, do you both agree to cover college costs for your child? If so, what is included in “college costs?”

Religious Affiliation and Training – Is there agreement to raise the children in a specific faith? How will the costs associated with religious affiliation and education be paid? What is the transportation plan? Are you both agreeing that the child will attend certain religious events or education, regardless of whose parenting time is used? Will these decisions be delegated to the parent who feels this area is more important? If so, will that affect the cost sharing in any way?
Emergencies – What is the time frame for notifying the other parent? What authority does the parent who has the child have to consent to treatment?

Make-up Time – If one of you is unable to exercise time sharing with the children, under what circumstances will there be make-up time?

Recreational Activities & Vacations – How will the costs associated with activities be paid? What is the transportation plan? Are you both agreeing that the child will attend certain activities, regardless of whose parenting time is used? Will these decisions be delegated to the parent who feels this area is more important? If so, will that affect the cost sharing in any way? When will vacation plan be made? Will the children have passports? Which of you will hold the passports? How and when will the other parent get the passports if needed for vacation?

Parenting plans in Florida must also describe who is responsible for health care, school matters and activities and what communication methods the parents will use to contact the children.

What Statute Describes Parenting Plans in Florida?

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.13.html

Sample parenting plans in Florida

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 20th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,
IN AND FOR LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA

Case No.: ______________________
Division: CIVIL

Petitioner,
and

Respondent.
___________________________________________________________
PARENTING PLAN

This parenting plan is
__x___A Parenting Plan submitted to the court with the agreement of the parties.

I. PARENTS
Name:
Address: ________________________________________________________________

Name:
Address: ________________________________________________________________
II. CHILDREN: This parenting plan is for the following child(ren) born to, or adopted by the parties: (add additional lines as needed)

III. JURISDICTION

The United States is the country of habitual residence of the child(ren).

The State of Florida is the child(ren)’s home state for the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

This Parenting Plan is a child custody determination for the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 11601 et seq., the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction enacted at the Hague on October 25, 1980, and for all other state and federal laws.

IV. PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND DECISION MAKING

1. Parental Responsibility {Choose only one}

_____ Shared Parental Responsibility.
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the parents confer and jointly make all major decisions affecting the welfare of the child(ren). Major decisions include, but are not limited to, decisions about the child(ren)’s education, healthcare, and other responsibilities unique to this family.

OR

_____ Shared Parental Responsibility with Decision Making Authority
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the parents confer and attempt to agree on the major decisions involving the child(ren). If the parents are unable to agree, the authority for making major decisions regarding the child(ren) shall be as follows:

Education/Academic decisions _____ Mother _____ Father
Non-emergency health care _____ Mother _____ Father
Other: {Specify}______________ _____ Mother _____ Father
___________________________ _____ Mother _____ Father
___________________________ _____ Mother _____ Father

OR

_____ Sole Parental Responsibility:
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the ____ Mother ____ Father shall have sole authority to make major decisions for the child(ren.) It is detrimental to the child(ren) to have shared parental responsibility.

2. Day-to-Day Decisions
Unless otherwise specified in this plan, each parent shall make decisions regarding day-to-day care and control of each child while the child is with that parent. Regardless of the allocation of decision making in the parenting plan, either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child(ren) when the child is residing with that parent. A parent who makes an emergency decision shall share the decision with the other parent as soon as reasonably possible.

3. Extra-curricular Activities {Indicate all that apply}

a._____Either parent may register the child(ren) and allow them to participate in the activity of the child(ren)’s choice.

b._____The parents must mutually agree to all extra-curricular activities.

c._____ The parent with the minor child(ren) shall transport the minor child(ren) to and/or from all mutually agreed upon extra-curricular activities, providing all necessary uniforms and equipment within the parent’s possession.

d._____ The costs of the extra-curricular activities shall be paid by:
Mother ______% Father ________ %

e._____ The uniforms and equipment required for the extra-curricular activities shall be paid by: Mother _______ % Father ________%

f._____ Other: {Specify}_____________________________________________________
________________________________________________________.

V. INFORMATION SHARING. Unless otherwise indicated or ordered by the Court:

Unless otherwise prohibited by law, each parent shall have access to medical and school records and information pertaining to the child(ren) and shall be permitted to independently consult with any and all professionals involved with the child(ren). The parents shall cooperate with each other in sharing information related to the health, education, and welfare of the child(ren) and they shall sign any necessary documentation ensuring that both parents have access to said records.

Each parent shall be responsible for obtaining records and reports directly from the school and health care providers.

Both parents have equal rights to inspect and receive governmental agency and law enforcement records concerning the child(ren).

Both parents shall have equal and independent authority to confer with the child(ren)’s
school, day care, health care providers, and other programs with regard to the child(ren)’s educational, emotional, and social progress.

Both parents shall be listed as “emergency contacts” for the child(ren).

Each parent has a continuing responsibility to provide a residential, mailing, and contact address and contact telephone number to the other parent. Each parent shall notify the other parent in writing within 24 hours of any changes. Each parent shall notify the court in writing within seven (7) days of any changes.

Other: _________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________.

VI. SCHEDULING

1. School Calendar
If necessary, on or before ______________ of each year, both parents should obtain a
copy of the school calendar for the next school year. The parents shall discuss the
calendars and the time-sharing schedule so that any differences or questions can be
resolved.

The parents shall follow the school calendar of: {Indicate all that apply}
a._____the oldest child
b._____the youngest child
c.______________________ County
d.______________________ School

2. Academic Break Definition
When defining academic break periods, the period shall begin at the end of the last
scheduled day of classes before the holiday or break and shall end on the first day of regularly scheduled classes after the holiday or break.

3. Schedule Changes {Indicate all that apply}

a._____ A parent making a request for a schedule change will make the request as soon as possible, but in any event, except in cases of emergency, no less than _____________ __________________before the change is to occur.

b._____ A parent requesting a change of schedule shall be responsible for any additional child care, or transportation costs caused by the change.

c._____ Other {Specify}____________________________________________________.

VII. TIME-SHARING SCHEDULE

1. Weekday and Weekend Schedule
The following schedule shall apply beginning on ________________________ with the
_____ Mother _____ Father and continue as follows:

The child(ren) shall spend time with the Mother on the following dates and times:
WEEKENDS: _____ Every _____ Every Other _____ Other {specify} _____________
From____________________________ to _________________________________
WEEKDAYS: {Specify days} ______________________________________________
From _____________________________ to _______________________________
OTHER: {Specify} _____________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________.

The child(ren) shall spend time with the Father on the following dates and times:
WEEKENDS: _____ Every _____ Every Other _____ Other {specify}______________
From____________________________ to _________________________________
WEEKDAYS: {Specify days} ______________________________________________
From _____________________________ to _______________________________
OTHER: {Specify} _____________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________.

Please indicate if there is a different time sharing schedule for any child. Complete a separate Attachment for each child for whom there is a different time sharing schedule.
_____ There is a different time-sharing schedule for the following child(ren) in
Attachment _________.

_____________________________, and _________________________.
(Name of Child) (Name of Child)

2. Holiday Schedule {Choose only one}
a. _____No holiday time sharing shall apply. The regular time-sharing schedule set forth above shall apply.

b. _____Holiday time-sharing shall be as the parties agree.

c. _____Holiday time-sharing shall be in accordance with the following schedule. The Holiday schedule will take priority over the regular weekday, weekend, and summer schedules. Fill in the blanks with Mother or Father to indicate where the child(ren) will be for the holidays. Provide the beginning and ending times. If a holiday is not specified as even, odd, or every year with one parent, then the child(ren) will remain with the parent in accordance with the regular schedule
Holidays Even Years Odd Years Every Year Begin/End Time
Mother’s Day __________ _________ __________ _____________
Father’s Day __________ _________ __________ _____________
President’s Day __________ _________ __________ _____________
M. L. King Day __________ _________ __________ _____________
Easter __________ _________ __________ _____________
Passover __________ _________ __________ _____________
Memorial Day Wkd _______ __________ __________ _____________
4th of July __________ _________ __________ _____________
Labor Day Wkd __________ _________ __________ _____________
Columbus Day Wkd _______ _________ __________ _____________
Halloween __________ _________ __________ _____________
Thanksgiving __________ _________ __________ _____________
Veteran’s Day __________ _________ __________ _____________
Hanukkah __________ _________ __________ _____________
Yom Kippur __________ _________ __________ _____________
Rosh Hashanah __________ _________ __________ _____________
Child(ren)’s
Birthdays: __________ _________ __________ _____________
__________ __________ _________ __________ _____________
__________ __________ _________ __________ _____________

This holiday schedule may affect the regular Time-Sharing Schedule. Parents may wish to specify either or both of the following options:

d._____When the parents are using an alternating weekend plan and the holiday schedule would result in one parent having the child(ren) for three weekends in a row, the parents will exchange the following weekend, so that each has two weekends in a row before the regular alternating weekend pattern resumes.

e._____If a parent has the child(ren) on a weekend immediately before or after an unspecified holiday or non-school day, they shall have the child(ren) for the holiday or non-school day.

3. Winter Break {Choose only one}
a. _____The _____ Mother _____ Father shall have the child(ren) from the day and time school is dismissed until December ____________ at ______ a.m./p. m in ____odd-numbered years _____ even-numbered years ____ every year. The other parent will have the children for the second portion of the Winter Break. The parties shall alternate the arrangement each year.

b._____The _____ Mother _____ Father shall have the child(ren) for the entire Winter Break during _____ odd-numbered years _____ even-numbered years _____ every year.

c._____Other: ___________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________.

d. _____Specific Winter Holidays
If not addressed above, the specific Winter Holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. shall be shared as follows:
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________.

4. Spring Break {Choose only one}

a._____The parents shall follow the regular schedule.

b._____The parents shall alternate the entire Spring Break with the Mother having the
child(ren) during the _____odd-numbered years _____even numbered years.

c._____The _____ Father _____ Mother shall have the child(ren) for the entire Spring Break every year.

d._____The Spring Break will be evenly divided. The first half of the Spring Break will go to the parent whose regularly scheduled weekend falls on the first half and the second half going to the parent whose weekend falls during the second half.

e._____Other: {Specify}_______________________________________.

5. Summer Break {Choose only one}

a._____The parents shall follow the regular schedule through the summer.

b._____The _____ Mother _____ Father shall have the entire Summer Break from __________after school is out until _______________ before school starts.

c._____The parents shall equally divide the Summer Break as follows: During _____ odd-numbered years_____ even numbered years, the _____ Mother _____ Father shall have the children from ________ _after school is out until _____________. The other parent shall have the child(ren) for the second one-half of the Summer Break. The parents shall alternate the first and second one-halves each year unless otherwise agreed. During the extended periods of time-sharing, the other parent shall have the child(ren) ____________________________________________________________.

d._____Other: {Specify}____________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________.

6. Number of Overnights:
Based upon the time-sharing schedule, the Mother has a total of _____ overnights per year and the Father has a total of _____ overnights per year.
Note: The two numbers must equal 365.

7. _____If not set forth above, the parties shall have time-sharing in accordance with the schedule which is attached and incorporated herein.

VIII. TRANSPORTATION AND EXCHANGE OF CHILD(REN)

1. Transportation {Choose only one}

a.____The ____ Mother ____ Father shall provide all transportation.

b. _____The parent beginning their time-sharing shall provide transportation for the child(ren).

c._____The parent ending their time-sharing shall provide transportation for the child(ren).

d._____Other: {Specify}___________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________.

2. Exchange
Both parents shall have the child(ren) ready on time with sufficient clothing packed
and ready at the agreed upon time of exchange. If a parent is more than ________S
minutes late without contacting the other parent to make other arrangements, the
parent with the child(ren) may proceed with other plans and activities.
{Choose only one}:

a._____Exchanges shall be at Mother’s and Father’s homes unless both parents agree to a different meeting place.

b._____Exchanges shall occur at __________________________________________
____________________________________________________________ unless both parties agree in advance to a different meeting place.

c._____Other: _______________________________________________________.

3. Transportation Costs {Choose only one}
a._____Transportation costs are included in the Child Support Worksheets and/or the Order for Child Support and should not be included here.

b._____The Mother shall pay ______% and the Father shall pay ______ % of the transportation costs.

c._____Other: ___________________________________________________________.

4. Foreign and Out-Of-State Travel {Indicate all that apply}
a._____Either parent may travel within the United States with the child(ren) during his/her time-sharing. The parent traveling with the child(ren) shall give the other parent at least ____ days written notice before traveling out of state unless there is an emergency, and shall provide the other parent with a detailed itinerary, including locations and telephone numbers where the child(ren) and parent can be reached at least ____ days before traveling.

b._____Either parent may travel out of the country with the child(ren) during his/her time-sharing. At least ___ days prior to traveling, the parent shall provide a detailed itinerary, including locations, and telephone numbers where the child(ren) and parent may be reached during the trip. Each parent agrees to provide whatever documentation is necessary for the other parent to take the child(ren) out of the country.

c._____If a parent wishes to travel out of the country with the child(ren), he/she shall provide the following security for the return of the child _____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________.

d._____Other _________________________________________________________.

IX. EDUCATION

1. School designation.
For purposes of school boundary determination and registration, the _____ Mother’s _____ Father’s address shall be designated.

2. _____ {If Applicable} The following provisions are made regarding private or home schooling: ___________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________.
3. Other. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

X. DESIGNATION FOR OTHER LEGAL PURPOSES

The child(ren) named in this Parenting Plan are scheduled to reside the majority of the time with the _____ Mother _____ Father. This majority designation is SOLELY for purposes of all other state and federal laws which require such a designation. This designation does not affect either parent’s rights and responsibilities under this Parenting Plan.

XI. COMMUNICATION

1. Between Parents
All communications regarding the child(ren) shall be between the parents. The parents shall not use the child(ren) as messengers to convey information, ask questions, or set up schedule changes.

The parents shall communicate with each other: {Indicate all that apply}

_____in person
_____by telephone
_____by letter
_____by e-mail
_____Other: {Specify}_________________________________________.
2. Between Parent and Child(ren)

Both parents shall keep contact information current. Telephone or other electronic communication between the child(ren) and the other parent shall not be monitored by or interrupted by the other parent. “Electronic communication” includes telephones, electronic mail or e-mail, webcams, video-conferencing equipment and software or other wired or wireless technologies or other means of communication to supplement face to face contact.

The child(ren) may have _____ telephone _____ e-mail _____ other electronic communication in the form of _______________________________ with the other parent: {Choose only one}
a._____Anytime
b._____Every day during the hours of ______________ to ______________________.
c._____On the following days_____________________________________________
during the hours of __________________________ to _________________________.
d._____Other: _________________________________________________________.

3. Costs of Electronic Communication shall be addressed as follows:
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________.

XII. CHILD CARE {Choose only one}

a._____Each parent may select appropriate child care providers
b._____All child care providers must be agreed upon by both parents.
c._____Each parent must offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child(ren) before using a child care provider for any period exceeding _______ hours.
d._____Other : {Specify}__________________________________________________.

XIII. CHANGES OR MODIFICATIONS OF THE PARENTING PLAN

Temporary changes to this Parenting Plan may be made informally without a written document; however, if the parties dispute the change, the Parenting Plan shall remain in effect until further order of the court.

Any substantial changes to the Parenting Plan must be sought through the filing of a supplemental petition for modification.

XIV. RELOCATION

Any relocation of the child(ren) is subject to and must be sought in compliance with section 61.13001, Florida Statutes.

XV. DISPUTES OR CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Parents shall attempt to cooperatively resolve any disputes which may arise over the terms of the Parenting Plan. The parents may wish to use mediation or other dispute resolution methods and assistance, such as Parenting Coordinators and Parenting Counselors, before filing a court action.

XVI. OTHER PROVISIONS
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
SIGNATURES OF PARENTS
I certify that I have been open and honest in entering into this Parenting Plan. I am satisfied with this Plan and intend to be bound by it.

Dated: ________________________________
Signature of petitioner
Printed Name:
Address:
City, State, Zip:
Telephone Number:
Designated E-mail Address(es):____________
STATE OF _____________________
COUNTY OF __________________

Sworn to or affirmed and signed before me on by .

NOTARY PUBLIC or DEPUTY CLERK

{Print, type, or stamp commissioned name of notary or clerk.}
__ Personally known
__ Produced identification
Type of identification produced _____________________________

I certify that I have been open and honest in entering into this Parenting Plan. I am satisfied with this Plan and intend to be bound by it.
Dated:________________________ ______________________________
Signature of Respondent
Printed Name:
Address:
City, State, Zip:
Telephone Number:
Fax Number:
Designated E-mail Address(es):____________
STATE OF _______________________
COUNTY OF _________________________
Sworn to or affirmed and signed before me on by .

NOTARY PUBLIC or DEPUTY CLERK

{Print, type, or stamp commissioned name of notary or clerk.}
__ Personally known __Produced identification
Type of identification produced ____________________________________

Florida Divorce Paperwork Series

This is part of a series on important documents and paperwork that are commonly part of a Florida divorce:

Part I: Florida Divorce Paperwork: What’s Needed?

Part II: Parenting Plans in Florida

Part III: The Marital Settlement Agreement

Please look for future posts regarding other documents used in the process:

The UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION ACT (UCCJA) AFFIDAVIT

The notice of social security number

The Final Judgment

The Financial Affidavit

Need more help? Contact me and our team will get back to you ASAP.