As parents, we want to provide our child with the best life possible. So, when we divorce, concerns arise about how to raise our child in a healthy environment with our ex. Florida law has divorcing parents develop a parenting plan that will detail how they will work together to raise their child.
What must be included in a parenting plan?
Sometimes, parents in Florida going through a divorce can put their differences aside for the sake of the child and develop a parenting plan together out-of-court. Under Florida law, a parenting plan must include the following points:
- It must adequately describe how the parents will divide daily tasks between them with regard to raising their child.
- It must include the time-sharing schedule the parents have agreed to.
- It must indicate which parent will be responsible for the child’s health care, education and other activities.
- It must also explain how each parent will communicate with the child.
Other details on parenting can be included in a parenting plan at the parents’ discretion, but a parenting plan must be approved by the court.
When parents do not agree
If parents cannot agree on a parenting plan out of court, the court will step in and issue a time-sharing order. If so, the basis of the order will be the best interests of the child. The court will consider a variety of factors when developing a parenting plan. Some of these factors include:
- Each parent’s ability to have a positive parent-child relationship
- Each parent’s ability to abide by the time-sharing schedule and be reasonable if it needs to be adjusted
- How parental responsibilities will be divided
- How long the child has been living in a stable environment and each parent’s ability to provide the child with a consistent home life
- Geographic considerations
- Each parent’s health and moral fitness
- The child’s preferences
- Each parent’s knowledge of the child’s friends, teachers, doctors, daily activities and favorite things
- Each parent’s willingness to keep one another informed of matters relating to the child
This is not an all-inclusive list. There are other factors not listed here that the court may consider when issuing a time-sharing order.
Keep the child’s best interests first
Whether you can agree on a parenting plan with your ex, or whether you turn to the court for one, what is vital is that the child’s best interests are honored. Prioritizing the best interests of the child can help ensure the child has a stable, supportive home environment with each parent.