Developing a parenting plan is a crucial element of a divorce or separation process, as it directly impacts the well-being of the child or children involved.
In the State of Florida, the terms “parenting plan” and “shared parenting” are used in reference questions of child custody, child visitation, and primary custody or the custodial parent.
In many cases, child-related issues may not be easily agreed upon, which results in the need for mediation or even litigation. Even when a parenting plan is amicably decided, it will still require that a court order be issued for the plan to become legally binding. This action will protect all parties involved, in the event that one or both parents not to comply with the terms to which they had previously agreed.
Parenting plan guidelines will take numerous factors into consideration, including the primary residence of the child or children, parental visitation rights and schedules, and child support. In more complex cases, the parenting plan may also include parental responsibility and decision-making, standards of parental conduct, daycare or after-school programs, and grounds for parenting plan modifications. Parenting plan cases can be intensely personal in nature, and your attorney should be attuned to your specific circumstances and any unique needs of your child that must be considered in the formation of your parenting plan.
Many times one parent or both will make false claims or present embellished “facts” regarding the behaviors or actions of the other parent. This practice is highly discouraged, because falsehoods are uncovered, the courts reaction is often to act strongly in favor of the parent who was wrongfully accused. If this tactic is being used against you, you need an attorney who will aggressively defend you, and effectively represent to the court that your parenting goals are in the best interest of your child.
Shared parental responsibility is the norm and sole parental responsibility is reserved for only those cases where the court must protect the children. The concept of shared parental responsibility provides a framework for effective co-parenting. It is the public policy of the State of Florida to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing. Shared parental responsibility is a court ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities and in which both parents confer with each other, so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the children will be determined jointly.
The concept of shared parental responsibility is intended to protect the children's right to an ongoing relationship with both parents. If shared parenting is awarded, both parents will share in the responsibility of making all minor and major decisions affecting your child's welfare such as those involving education, health care, religion, illnesses, vacations, and more. You have the right to know what activities your child is involved in and you have the right to partake in those activities. You have the right to your child's school, medical, dental, and other records as well as to actively consult with your child's teachers and doctors.
If you are involved in a divorce, separation, or you’re seeking to modify a post-judgment order involving children, Robert Sigman is ready and able to put his extensive knowledge and experience to work for you. You need a qualified Florida divorce attorney. For more information, or to schedule your free, confidential consultation, please call our office at (407) 831-0012.