Parenting Plan Attorney

Parenting Plan Attorney

Deciding where kids will live is one of the most challenging children’s issues when a relationship ends. While developing a parenting plan, each parent will usually have less time with the kids, making it a potentially tricky adjustment.

Note that the latest parenting plans in Florida law are a revised version of the Shared Parental Contact Guidelines, previously known as child custody. However, the law in Florida no longer uses the term “custody.”

The parenting plan is required in every petition for custody, separation, or divorce. It provides a framework for the child’s residential schedule. It also outlines who can make decisions about the kids.

A typical parenting plan is a flexible document. It is meant to grow and evolve with your family as you endeavor to provide your children a caring and stable environment. Parents can work together to create this plan, a time-sharing schedule, as well as child support or ask the judge to create them through a family court case filing.

Steps For Filing Parental Responsibility in Florida

You can file a petition for parental responsibility in Florida in the following four steps:


Completing  the on-line forms


Filing the forms and paying fees


Serving the other parent


Waiting for the other parent’s response and a date before the judge

However, working out a parenting plan and time-sharing agreement should account for the kids’ best interests. The court primarily wants both parents to share the child’s decision-making responsibilities. Therefore, the children’s best interests’ standard prevails when litigating any misunderstandings or deciding a case where both parents can’t reach an agreement.

A South Florida Parenting Plan Attorney can guide you through all the legal requirements for an enduring parent-child relationship.

Shared Parental Responsibilities in Florida

Sometimes known as a custody agreement in other states, all children’s responsibility cases need a parenting plan. Florida law allows divorcing spouses to reach an agreement either by mediation, negotiation, or collaboration. Therefore, you’ll want to think of it as an agreement by you and the co-parent concerning your rights and responsibilities in raising your minor kids.

The best case scenario is two parents discussing their children’s issues to reach common ground for a parenting arrangement. If they don’t, the court will develop what the judge thinks is the most suitable parenting plan and time-sharing schedule for the child. The court gives each parent equal consideration when determining parental responsibility and time-sharing. This means that neither parent get preferential treatment.

Shared Parental Responsibilities in Florida

Likewise, the court may order sole parental responsibility in rare situations regarding children’s issues. These situations are where parental sharing responsibility poses harm to the kids.

Typically, parents agree to share their children’s responsibilities concerning medical and dental needs, plus decision-making for religion and education. However, if the parents cannot communicate effectively and cannot come to an agreement, the court may grant decision-making for these issues to only one parent.

Must-Haves for Florida’s Parenting Plans

When establishing a plan, parents must specify where the children will live. Additionally, the arrangement must state when each parent will get to have time with the kids. So, you’ll want to make sure your parenting plan includes:

  • Who provides everyday childcare
  • A time-sharing schedule describing when the child is with each parent and who provides transportation
  • A definition of specific technologies, including e-mail, SMS, or video calls to be used during parent-child communications
  • State who will be responsible for:

–All types of health care,

–Education matters, such as the address to be used to determine the school boundary and registration,

–Other and extracurricular activities;

If you have kids under 18, the parenting plans in Florida law require both parents to attend a parenting class before the court grants a divorce. You can find information about acceptable parenting courses on-line on the county website in which you will be filing your petition.

In other instances, parenting coordinators help the parents create a parenting plan resolving conflicts about children’s issues, especially parenting time.. An order from the judge is required for these coordinators to offer assistance, unless the parents are working together outside of court. In that case, professionals with expertise in child development can be a helpful resource.   

Likely Outcomes for Parental Responsibility Cases in Florida

For parents living in Florida, the court can either grant:

  • Shared parental responsibility
  • Sole responsibility to one parent; or
  • Shared parental responsibility while giving one parent ultimate decision making authority over certain issues

Shared parental responsibility is where both parents maintain full parental rights and responsibilities concerning the children. Also, both parents consult each other to determine primary children’s issues jointly. Generally, the court will order parents to share responsibility,  unless it determines that shared parental agreement would harm the child.

Like the above scenario, shared parental responsibility with one parent being solely accountable implies that separating couples have to make critical decisions about the child’s welfare together. However, unlike the shared parental responsibility plan, one parent will get ultimate authority to decide specific issues,  such as the child’s health care, education, co-curricular activities, or other unique family aspects.

Sole parental responsibility gives one parent full authority to make decisions about the minor child. The court can only grant this parental responsibility plan if a shared parental responsibility plan is harmful to the child.

How My Knowledge and Experience as a Florida Parenting Plan Attorney Can Help

Separating or divorcing a spouse is a hard decision. Discussing your children’s residency and working out a parenting plan is complicated and often involves painful conversations. A Florida Parenting Plan Attorney can help you create a workable schedule while protecting your rights.

When deciding parental responsibility and creating a parenting plan, the court must consider the child’s best interests. Carolann Mazza, Parenting Plan Attorney, can work with you to create a parenting plan in your child’s best interests and unique to your family’s children’s issues.

She also helps parents to modify their parenting plans in post-divorce life. Revising time-sharing or other elements of a parenting plan needs substantial proof, unforeseen change of events, and showing that the amendment would be in the child’s best interest.