Parenting plans are what courts use today to divide time with kids.
Until 2008, Florida courts used the terms residential parent and visitation. That all changed when the Florida Legislature replaced those terms with parenting plans. It is more than a change in names – it is a change in perspective.
The change reflects the belief that both parents are important to children. Whether the parents equally divide their time, or use a different plan, both parents are vital to their children. So the Florida Legislature removed any references that made one parent sound less significant. And in its place they installed time-sharing.
Parenting Plans provide detailed information.
The hallmark of any good plan is detail, and parenting plans are no different. This starts with specific physical and email addresses. Sole versus shared parental responsibility must be outlined. The cost and support of extracurricular activities is addressed. Of course, there are also details about the weekly schedule, and how to divide holiday time. Summer parenting time is another concern.
An entire section deals with holidays. This includes many holidays which fall on a Monday – President’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day are a few. July 4th is often included, also.
School zones are also addressed. This can be difficult to resolve, especially when kids spend equal amounts of time with both parents. Several good ways to address this is to state a specific school zone the parents will use. Another good approach is looking at the rating of each school. If the child has a disability or is gifted in some manner, the parents should look at what schools provide the best resources for his or her child.
Other subjects to address include transportation, and out of state travel. Most parents divide transportation. It is generally considered part of the support. However, parents are free to come up with solutions which work best for them. Parents getting a divorce should also discuss foreign or out of state travel. One or both can be allowed, and parents should determine how much notice he or she should have.
Much detail goes into parenting plans, but it provides a better framework for parents. Most parents end up back in court when the terms are vague. The more specific you are, the less likely you will have to re-litigate issues.