A parenting plan or time-sharing plan is a crucial document for divorcing or separating parents in Florida. The details included in a parenting plan establish the rights and obligations of each parent to the children and to each other.
Parents can potentially have the Florida family courts enforce a parenting plan if there have been severe issues with non-compliance. Ideally, you and your ex will never have to deal with major disputes about your parenting plan because you will agree about what is appropriate and necessary for your children.
Including the right terms in your parenting plan will reduce the chances of conflict and continued litigation later. What should most parents include in their parenting plans?
An explanation of time-sharing
Perhaps the most basic information to include in your parenting plan is how you and your ex expect to split parenting time. Have you committed to a 50/50 split? Will you have a different division of time-sharing responsibilities and support obligations that reflect how one parent will provide for more of the needs of the children?
Talking about the school year, summer vacation, holidays, special events and unexpected circumstances, like when the children come home from school sick, in your parenting plan will limit the possibility of conflict over the division of parenting time.
Household rules or expectations for the children
Creating standardized expectations that both parents enforce in each of the households will reduce conflict between the parents and children while also making it easier for the kids to meet the expectations of their parents.
From the academic performance that you expect, to limitations on socialization and screen time, parents often include rules for children in the parenting plan.
Rules for the parents to follow
What should you do if you intensely disagree about something, like your ex introducing your children to their new boyfriend or girlfriend? Having a conflict resolution process outlined in your parenting plan can help. In fact, having rules for healthy communication during any disagreements, such as a promise to use a parenting app or to commit to written communication, can help prevent small disagreements from spiraling out of control.
Making sure that you include the right elements in your parenting plan will make it easier for you and your ex to share parental responsibilities after your divorce.