Can A Florida Court Reject Your Parenting Plan?
Getting divorced when you share children can be both stressful and confusing. Under Florida law, when spouses who wish to end their marriage have children, they must work out a parenting plan.
The parenting plan is used to specify how the parents will spend time with the kids after the divorce is finalized. Once the parents have agreed on the terms of a parenting plan, they must get the court’s approval. The parents have a legal obligation to comply with the parenting plan once the judge approves it.
But can a Florida court reject your parenting plan? The short answer is, “Yes, it can.” That is why it is highly recommended to seek the legal counsel of an Orlando child custody lawyer to help you draft a valid parenting plan.
What Should a Parenting Plan Include to Be Approved?
A Florida court is more likely to reject a parenting plan when it is incomplete, unfair, or vague. That is why you need to make sure that your parenting plan includes all the required elements and information to be approved:
- How the parents will share parental rights and responsibilities;
- How the parents will make decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, education, religion, and other major decisions;
- Who will pay for the child’s education and healthcare;
- How the parents will divide time-sharing following the divorce;
- Where and how child exchanges (drop-off and pick-up) will take place;
- Who will arrange and pay for transportation for child exchanges;
- How the parents will communicate when sharing custody;
- How the non-custodial parent will communicate with the child when they have time-sharing;
- What happens if either parent cannot comply with the parenting plan; and
- How the parents wish to resolve disagreements and disputes regarding the parenting plan and time-sharing.
It is not a complete list of the provisions a parenting plan may contain. It is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine what to include in your parenting plan in your specific situation.
Why a Court May Reject a Parenting Plan
Florida courts look at a wide range of factors when deciding whether to reject or approve a proposed parenting plan. Once the parents submit their parenting plan to the court, the judge will evaluate the proposed plan to make a decision based on the child’s best interests.
The factors considered by Florida courts when evaluating a parenting plan include but are not limited to:
- The living condition of each parent;
- The child’s living arrangement at the time of reviewing the plan;
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child; and
- Any prior instances of drug or alcohol abuse, child neglect, child abuse, or domestic violence.
Before submitting your parenting plan to the court, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that the proposed plan is valid. Your attorney can help you take the necessary steps to ensure that your parenting plan is approved by the court.
If your circumstances change after getting the court’s approval, you and the other parent could modify the parenting plan. Speak with an attorney to determine if your situation warrants the modification.
Schedule a Consultation with an Orlando Child Custody Lawyer
If you need assistance with creating a valid parenting plan, contact a child custody attorney at Arwani Law Firm. Call 407-254-0060 to get a consultation and discuss your case.