On October 1, 2008, a new law went into effect that requires all cases with minor children to develop a parenting plan. The parenting plan has eliminated the prior terminology of “primary residential responsibility” and “visitation.”
Instead of using the term “visitation,” Florida courts now use the term “time-sharing.” Instead of using the term “primary residential responsibility” or “primary parent,” the courts apply the term “majority time-sharing” to the parent with whom the child resides most of the time.
The new statute still allows for “sole custody,” which is difficult to obtain and allows one parent alone to make all decisions for the minor child(ren).
“Shared parental responsibility,” is standard in Florida and requires both parents to work together in raising their child(ren) with each parent getting equal decision-making authority.
The parenting plan must be very detailed, establishing a time-sharing schedule and addressing issues such as:
- transportation of the minor child(ren)
- extracurricular activities
- a communication schedule the minor child(ren) will have with the parents
At the law firm of Tampa Family & Divorce Lawyer Mindi Lasley we are experienced in drafting and litigating parenting plans to obtain the time-sharing schedule that is fair for both you and your child(ren).
Each family and parenting plan is different, and therefore parenting plans must be tailored to address you and your family’s needs.
Ms. Lasley drafts parenting plans that plan for future occurrences, such as when a young child will start school or when an older child will be able to drive, to attempt to prevent clients from being forced to come back to court years later to modify the parenting plan.
It’s important to ensure that the child(ren) have frequent time-sharing and communication with both parents.
The parties involved in a family law case should also do everything possible to prevent the child(ren) from learning the details of their case.
In determining a parenting plan, there are numerous statutory factors that the judge considers. Two of the most important factors are:
- What parenting plan would be in the best interests of the child(ren)
- The disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule and to be reasonable when changes are required.
Ms. Lasley will apply the many factors considered by the court in developing the parenting plan to your specific case. She will persuasively present the parenting plan to the court that is in the best interests of your child(ren).
For more information contact Tampa Child Custody Lawyer Mindi Lasley.