Parenting Plan battles are often the most emotionally difficult aspects of divorce. Fortunately, the state of Florida has helped the situation somewhat when the adoption of a new provision of statute §61 – Parenting Plans and Time-Sharing. We now talk in terms of parenting-time and shared parental responsibility rather that in terms of Primary/Secondary Residential Care and Custody.
The Parenting Plan is a document that governs the way the parties relate to one another about the decisions made regarding children and includes a time-sharing schedule that dictates when the children will be spending time with each parent, including overnights, weekends and holidays and summer breaks. Also included is how often and the method of technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the children. If a Parenting Plan can be developed and agreed to by the parents then it only needs the approval of the Court to become binding. However, if the parents cannot agree, the schedule will be established by the Court’s determination.
What must your Seminole Parenting Plan Lawyer do?
Parenting Plans are some of the most challenging and difficult aspects of a divorce case. The Parenting Plan Attorney must work with the parents and their other attorneys to work through or litigate who the children will live with most of the time; and it can be a terrifying, frustrating, and demanding process. It requires the cooperation of many parties with varying interests. Keeping the focus on the best interests of the children is of the utmost importance, as parent ego and attorney win/lose contests often come into play, and must be vacated in order to have the very best results.
Shared Parental Responsibility is the legal presumption in Florida. The Court feels that both parents should be actively involved in their children’s lives, education, religious upbringing, health, and welfare. The Court will grant Shared Parental Responsibility unless one parent is truly unfit. Otherwise, both parents will work together jointly raising their children.
The best interest of the minor child is the bottom line standard that the Courts consider in making parenting plan determinations. The Judge has wide leeway in making decisions as to what is in the BEST INTEREST OF THE MINOR CHILDREN. Many parents get caught up in what “they want and need,” and forget that the Court only is concerned with what is in the best interest of the children.