Parenting Plans

Time-Sharing and Parenting Plan Attorneys in Naples

Ensuring you and your children get the best arrangements!

Ever since you and your spouse began talking about divorce, chances are your children have been your greatest concern. You and your spouse might have postponed the decision to seek divorce because of concern about the impact on your children. Now that the time has come, you might still have doubts about whether your children will be alright after the divorce.

Remember that you have been making wise and loving decisions for your children since they were born. You’ve always done your best to see that they had everything they really needed. You loved them and protected them. This won’t change simply because you are going through your divorce. You were a good parent before your divorce and you will be a good parent after the divorce.

It can be difficult not to worry about how the sharing of parenting time with your spouse will affect your children. You may also have fears about being cut out of your children’s lives. Try to remember, it is likely that the court order will not only give you a lot of time with your children but also a generous opportunity to be involved in their day-to-day lives.

With the help of our attorneys, you can make sound decisions regarding a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule that is in the best interest of your children.

Contact our Family Law team today at (239) 309-2006 to help you get the best time-sharing and parenting plan for you and your children.

What types of custody are awarded in Florida?

The Florida family laws specifically do not make a designation of “custody” of a child; rather the courts require a parenting plan that sets forth each parent’s responsibility for making major decisions affecting the children and a time-sharing schedule detailing when the children will spend time with each parent.

If you have sole parental responsibility, you are responsible for making all major decisions affecting the children, such as who their health care providers are and what school they will attend. The other parent may or may not have parenting time, including supervised parenting time or supervised exchanges.

Shared parental responsibility means that you and your former spouse will share equally in the decision making for your child. This means that you and the other parent are required to discuss major decisions affecting the children and come to an agreement about those decisions. If you and the other parent are unable to reach agreements, you may need to return to mediation or to court for the decision to be made by a judge.

There are times the court will award shared parental responsibility with one parent having the ultimate decision making over certain decisions. This means that the parent with ultimate decision making will still have an obligation to inform and discuss with the other parent before exercising his or her decision making. The burden then shifts to the other parent to go to court if he or she disagrees with the decision.

The courts will generally award shared parenting responsibility unless you can prove that it is not in the child’s best interest. The Florida legislature has determined that it is presumed to be in the best interest of the children for both parents to play an active role in the lives of the children.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a detailed document that sets out the responsibilities of each parent toward each other and the children, defines each parents’ role in decision making for the children, sets out each parents’ financial responsibility in regard to extracurricular activities, travel, and any other of the children’s expenses not related to child support, and includes the time-sharing schedule. The parenting plan should also include provisions for the following:

  • Phone access to the children
  • Communication regarding the children
  • Access to records regarding the children
  • Notice regarding parenting time
  • Attendance at the child’s activities
  • Decision-making regarding the child
  • Travelling with the child
  • Financial responsibility for each parent for extracurricular activities
  • Exchange of information such as addresses, phone numbers, and care providers

The time-sharing portion of the parenting plan will include a detailed schedule for each parent to spend time with the children, including days of the week, school breaks, summer, holidays, and vacations. The plan should also include supervised time-sharing or supervised exchanges if there are safety concerns.

The parenting plan can either be agreed to between the parents or, if they can not agree, the court will order a specific parenting plan. Our attorneys will help you find and mediate the right parenting plan for you.

What is the difference between visitation and parenting time?

Historically, time spent with the noncustodial parent was referred to as visitation. Today, the term parenting time is used to refer to the time a child spends with either parent.

This change in language reflects the intention that children spend time with both parents and have two homes, as opposed to living with one parent and visiting the other.

How much weight does my child’s preference carry?

The preference of your child is only one of many factors a judge considers in determining the appropriate parenting plan. Although there is no age at which your child’s preference is the determining factor, most judges give more weight to the wishes of an older child.

The reasoning underlying your child’s preference is also a factor to consider. Consider the fifteen-year-old girl who wants to live with her mother because “Mom lets me stay out past curfew, I get a bigger allowance, and I don’t have to do chores.” Greater weight might be given to the preference of an eight year old who wants to live with his mother because “she helps me with my homework, reads me bedtime stories, and doesn’t call me names like Dad does.”

If you see that your child’s preference may be a factor in the determination of a parenting schedule, discuss it with our lawyers so that this consideration is a part of assessing the action to be taken in your case.

Reach Out to Our Law Office in Naples to Discuss Your Time-Sharing and Parenting Plan Case Today!

If you are looking to get the best time-sharing and parenting plan for you and your children, the family law team at the Law Offices of Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, P.A. in Naples can guide you through each step and make sure that you will. Backed by more than four decades of experience, you can feel confident that our team will help you overcome any potential obstacles you may face.

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