In Florida, we tend to continue to say “child custody” and “primary residential custody” as those were the terms used for many years. However, the law has moved from these terms and now we have “parenting plans” and “time sharing” agreements to designate visitation and parental responsibilities with the children once the parents separate and/or divorce.
Florida Statute 61.046 defines “Parenting plan” as “a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being.”
A parenting plan must be agreed to by the parents and approved by court or ordered by the court if no agreement of the parties. Courts continue to take the best interest of the child into account as well as all other factors involving the specific case in making decisions.
Although the statute has been changed to be more liberal in giving both parents more equal access to the children, it does not mandate that the child must spent half the time with each parent. Some judges have tried to move closer to allowing both parents to share equal time with the children when possible, but it is not mandatory. Again, the situation of the parents and the best interest of the child is always carefully analyzed on each individual case to determine the best time sharing schedule for that family. The time sharing schedule also outlines sharing holidays and other important dates for the family, vacation periods, birthdays, etc.
The parenting plan describes, in as much detail as possible, all decision making related to the children. Examples of some of these decisions are: what school district the child will attend school, major medical decisions are usually shared, permission for national and international travel and much more.
Again, every case is unique so if you have any questions about the information above and how it applies to your specific case, feel free to contact our office for a consultation to evaluate your specific case at 305-456-7158 or email us your contact information at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team members will call you to schedule a consultation.
Yahima Suarez, Esq.
Yahima Suarez, A Law Firm, PL
Any information herein contained is only for information purposes only, it is not intended and shall not be construed in any way to constitute legal advice.