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Clearwater Divorce Lawyer (Based on 36 Reviews)
727-683-1472 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 713
Largo, FL 33770
Mon - Fri 8:30 am- 5:00 pm Evening and Weekend Appts Available

Florida Parents Can Create Their Own Parenting Plans


A key part of making the transition from a two-parent home to two one-parent homes (following divorce) is a workable parenting plan. Fortunately, in Florida, parents, who are usually in the best position to determine what is best for their children, are encouraged to come up with their own parenting plans and visitation schedules when going through a divorce. This allows families to retain decision-making authority throughout the divorce process, rather than leaving their future in the hands of a judge.

What Parenting Plans Must Cover 

Parenting plans will only be approved by a court if they cover certain topics, including:

  • A detailed visitation schedule, showing how the parents will split time with their child;
  • An explanation of how the parents will share responsibility for the daily tasks of raising a child;
  • A schedule for visitation on holidays and school vacations;
  • Detailed plans for how the parents will share childcare-related decision-making responsibility;
  • A designation for which parent will be responsible for making healthcare decisions, handle school-related matters, and enable the child to engage in other activities;
  • Which parent’s address will be used for school boundary determination and registration; and
  • A description of the methods and technologies that the parents can use in communicating with their child.

These are only the minimum requirements for what must be included in a Florida parenting plan, which means that parents can go beyond these strictures. Many parents, for instance, include information about custody exchanges, what a child will bring for each visitation, and how parents will go about introducing their child to a new significant other. For help determining what kinds of provisions you should include in your own parenting plan, please reach out to our legal team today.

Court Approval 

Although parents are allowed and even encouraged to come up with their own parenting plans during a divorce, such a plan will still only be implemented if the parents obtain court approval. When deciding whether a parenting plan meets the state’s standards, judges will ensure that at the very minimum, the plan covers the aforementioned issues (i.e. visitation schedule and communication etc.) They will also, however, assess whether the plan is in a child’s best interests. This in turn, will require an evaluation of:

  • The circumstances between the parents, including their relationship history and any claims of domestic violence; and
  • Any other factors that affect the interest and welfare of the particular child.

The latter can cover everything from each parent’s capacity to facilitate the parent-child relationship with the other co-parent and the geographic viability of the parenting plan to the child’s home, school, and community record. Only when such a plan satisfies these requirements will a court approve it and make it legally binding for both parents.

 Available for Evening and Weekend Appointments 

It can be extremely beneficial for families when two parents can agree on the terms of a parenting plan on their own. For help negotiating such an agreement, please reach out to Cairns Law at 727-683-1472 and set up a meeting with our experienced Clearwater parenting plan lawyers today.




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