Tampa Parenting Plan Lawyer
In Florida, when a couple has children and files for divorce, a court will only finalize the dissolution of the marriage if a parenting plan is in place. These types of plans, which address time sharing, the division of parental responsibilities, and child support are required in all cases where minor children are involved, even if the division of parenting time is not in dispute. Many couples are able to come up with these plans on their own in out-of-court negotiations, although a judge will still need to sign off on them before they will be considered legally binding.
However, if a couple is unable to come to an agreement on how time sharing or parental responsibilities should be divided, a court will step in and implement its own plan. Although directed to create a parenting plan that serves the best interests of a couple’s children, judges don’t always have a firm grasp of the unique circumstances of each family, so if possible, it is often in a divorcing couple’s best interests to attempt to create their own plan and then submit it to the court for approval. If you need help drafting your own parenting plan or have questions about dividing time sharing and parental responsibilities,please contact a member of our dedicated Tampa parenting plans lawyers today.
What Must be Included in a Parenting Plan
Although the details of all parentings plans will be different, there are certain elements that must be included, including:
How the child’s parents will divide responsibility for daily child rearing tasks;
A timesharing schedule that describes how much time the parties will be able to spend with the child;
Who will be responsible for making decisions about the child’s healthcare, religion, and schooling, as well as the address to be used for determining where a child will register for and attend school; and
The technologies and methods that the parties are permitted to use when contacting the child.
Because these are merely the minimum requirements that must be met when drafting a parenting plan, families have the option of including additional information, such as how disputes about time sharing or decision making will be handled. Essentially, each parenting plan can and should be tailored to address the specific needs of a family.
Best Interests of the Child
Even if a couple is able to come up with a parenting plan on their own, the agreement will still need to be approved by a court who will assess whether the plan serves the best interests of the child, which in turn, requires an analysis of certain factors, including:
- Each parent’s ability to encourage and facilitate a close parent-child relationship and to honor the time sharing arrangement;
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan;
- The mental and physical health of all parties;
- The child’s home, community, and school record;
- The reasonable preference of the child;
- Each parent’s ability to provide a consistent routine for the child; and
- The specific tasks usually performed by each parent.
To learn more about drafting a parenting plan that satisfies this standard, please call our legal team today.
Call Today for Legal Assistance
If you are considering divorce and have children, please call 813-242-4404 and one of the parenting plan lawyers at The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group will help ensure that your own parenting plan addresses the needs of all parties.