In Florida, both parents usually are awarded shared parental responsibility, and therefore, make decisions regarding the children jointly. In rare cases, one parent is awarded sole decision-making, or sole parental responsibility. Visitation is called time-sharing, and time-sharing schedules can be based on any number of combinations of consecutive days or weeks. Because our primary concern is the best interests of the child, time-sharing considerations are the parent’s work schedules, the children’s ages and activities, and the proximity of the homes of the parents to each another.
A Parenting Plan must be filed with each agreement in both dissolutions and paternity cases. The parenting plan addresses contact information, school districting, extra curricular activities, vacation periods, holiday time-sharing, and a daily time-sharing schedule. The Parenting Plan is very helpful because it requires parents to consider the future for their children and their relationship with the children. An example of a Parenting Plan can be found at www.flcourts.org, self-help family law forms, form 12.955(a).
The Law Office of Audrey Bear, P.A. can walk you through drafting of an initial Parenting Plan. If parents cannot agree on a Parenting Plan, mediation may be ordered, and with the problem solving skills of the mediator, most parents come to an agreement on the Parenting Plan. Please contact us at (941) 893-6400 or contact us online. We look forward to helping you.