Did You Know? The Court Must Approve All Parenting Plans
All parenting plans in the state of Florida must be approved by the court. This fact is important as not only must the parenting plan be approved by the judge when shared parenting, parental timesharing case is heard in court but also when a parenting plan is part of a marital agreement signed following a mediation. Parenting plans created during mediation are usually accepted as written, but a judge does have the right to make changes as he or she deems necessary.
A parenting plan is a written plan to determine how a number of issues involving the care and nurturing of minor children (children from birth to age l8 and those older who cannot support themselves due to physical or mental special needs) will be handled following the final judgment of the case. The parents write the plan with the help of their attorneys. Issues dealt with in a parenting plan can include:
• Where will the child stay with each parent?
• How the overnights will be divided between parents. A variety of schedules can be adjudicated, including dividing a week in half with every other weekend and every other week or month. Sometimes a parent’s work schedule demands a creative plan for overnights.
• How will the child be cared for if neither parent can take the child for reasons such as illness, job-related absences, oran accident?
• How will the child be transferred between parents, including time and location for pick-up and drop-off?
• Which parent gets the child for the child’s birthday, major holidays such as Easter and Christmas, and for Mother’s and Father’s Day?
• How will communication be handled between parents and between parent and child when it is the other parents’ turn for overnights?
• What role can grandparents play in the child’s care and nurturing?
• How will the cost of life insurance and medical insurance be divided?
• How many miles is a parent allowed to take a child beyond their county of residence?
• How will summer vacation and other lengthy school vacations such as Christmas and Spring Break be divided?
• How will child tax deductions and child care credit be handled?
• Will there be a right of first refusal if a parent cannot pick up his or her child as stipulated in the parenting plan? In other words, must the parent who cannot pick up or care for his or her child as stipulated in the parenting plan check first with the other parent to see if he or she wants to take the child before an alternate person such as a grandparent is allowed to care for the child?
• How will the cost of school activities and extracurricular activities be divided?
Each parenting plan is unique to the couple and their minor child, so there will be other concerns addressed not necessarily mentioned above. It is wise to choose a Family Law attorney who is experienced and familiar with helping his clients draw-up a workable parenting plan. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida or New York or Washington DC Family Law attorney Grant Gisondo has over a decade of helping clients with their parenting plan. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where he will share with you about parenting plans as well as how he can assist you in other ways. You can call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment. His office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and for new clients on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.