Can you imagine the State of Florida telling you how your child is going to be raised? Parents who fail to resolve disputes among themselves delegate much of their parental authority to a judge. A judge is a government official who may not share the parents’ values. Judges decide where your children live, how often you get to see your children, and what parenting decisions you are allowed to make.
Once a judge makes a parenting decision, it is seldom changed. Appeals and modifications of custodial decisions are exceedingly difficult and rarely successful.
The Parenting Plan
The idea of child custody—where, in the past, one parent was declared to have primary custody of the child—has been replaced in Florida law with the concept of a Parenting Plan. A Parenting Plan is a document created to govern the time sharing between the parents and children, and how decisions for the children be made.
The Parenting Plan must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues covered by the Plan may include the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents must be taken into consideration, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors.
Parenting Plans spell out details such as where the children spend their time and who picks them up and drops them off. They are enforceable in court against either parent, so it makes sense to spend some time on them. With knowledge of changing Florida child custody laws, Schutz & White will help develop a Parenting Plan that will work best for you, your children, and all other involved parties.