Tampa Parenting Plan Attorney
Parenting plans, which are also called time sharing plans, are an essential tool in determining which parent a child lives with during certain days, who drops off or picks the child up from daycare or school, which parent takes the child on certain vacations or holidays, and more. A well thought-out parenting plan helps the parents manage their time, avoid conflicts and arguments, and ensures that the custody agreement is adhered to in terms of physical custody rights and responsibilities. As such, a parenting plan is required, by law, in Florida for all cases that involve time-sharing of a minor child between two separated parents. Here at The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A., our Tampa parenting plan attorneys assist divorced or separated parents create, modify, and uphold parenting plans that accommodate not only the parent, but the child as well.
What Parenting Plans in Tampa Must Include
Whether parents in Florida are developing their own Parenting Plan for court approval, or the court will need to establish a Parenting Plan since the parents cannot reach an agreement, Florida law specifies that all Parenting Plans must contain the following information at a minimum:
- How the parents will share time-sharing responsibilities, including all of the parental responsibilities associated with day-to-day child upbringing;
- A time-sharing schedule, which will need to provide detailed information about when the child will spend time with each of the parents;
- Designation for which parent will be responsible for handling important decision-making issues for the child, such as the child’s health care and any education issues that arise;
- Which parent’s address will be used to determine the school district and extracurricular activities for the child; and
- How the parents will communicate with the child, including specific methods of communication and any technologies that will be used for communication (such as text messaging, emailing, use of certain apps, etc.).
Best Interests of the Child and Your Tampa Parenting Plan
Every Parenting Plan must have the best interests of the child as the primary consideration in establishing time-sharing schedules and parental responsibilities. If the parents are developing the Parenting Plan themselves, the best interests of the child factors must be the primary consideration. Similarly, if the court must establish the Parenting Plan, it must focus on the best interests of the child factors outlined by Florida law. There are many “best interests” factors to consider. They are cited under Florida law as follows:
- 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 anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties;
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child(ren) as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent;
- The length of time the child(ren) has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child(ren);
- The moral fitness of the parents;
- The mental and physical health of the parents;
- The home, school, and community record of the child(ren);
- The reasonable preference of the child(ren), if the court deems the child(ren) to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference;
- The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child(ren), including, but not limited to, the child(ren)’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things;
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child(ren), such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime;
- The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child(ren), and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child(ren);
- Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child(ren);
- Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect;
- The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division or parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties;
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child(ren)’s school and extracurricular activities;
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child(ren) which is free from substance abuse;
- The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child(ren) from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child(ren), not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child(ren), and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child)ren); and
- The developmental stages and needs of the child(ren) and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child(ren)’s developmental needs.
Contact The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A. Today For Parenting Plan Assistance
Every separated couple needs to create a parenting plan for their child or children when both parties have some form of physical custody or visitation rights. To ensure that your and your child’s needs are met during the creation of a parenting plan, and to ensure that the plan is, indeed, legal you need to work with a qualified Tampa parenting plan attorney. Call The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A. today at 813-222-0888 to schedule a free consultation so that we can get to work on your parenting plan at once.