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Parenting Plans

Brushing Teeth
Mother and Child

Drafting a comprehensive parenting plan is one of the most important parts of the divorce or paternity agreement that parents must mutually decide. Even more valuable than your assets and property, the future and well-being of your children takes precedence. As parents, the courts require that you make predetermined decisions about your children's future to avoid unnecessary conflict due to indefinite or vague agreements. 

 

In mediation, you will get to sit with one another and the mediator, either apart or together to really sculpt plan that works uniquely for your family, and most importantly, prioritizes the children's interests. Below are some of the main elements that are addressed in a Parenting Plan and how you can prepare to address them.

 

You can visit www.FLcourts.org to find your Judicial Circuit, and review the general forms that may be required to file.  

 

What to expect

Parental Responsibility and Decision-making Authority

The first major element of a parenting plan is for the parents to determine how they will make decisions on behalf of their children. By default, most families have Shared Parental Responsibility, where both parents must communicate and decide major decisions for the welfare of the children together. 

Vacations and Holidays

In addition to the regular timeshare schedule, parents must figure out how the children will spend time with each parent when they are not in school. 

In mediation, parents can design creative alternating or split schedules that fit the holidays, traditions, and travel plans that are important to their family. While there are standard templates that work generally for many families, we are patient to help you determine what works best for your children. 

Medical Insurance Coverage

When child support is calculated, the parent paying the premium for the children's health coverage will receive a credit for that expense. However, in mediation the parents will mutually decide how to handle uncovered or out-of-pocket medical, dental, and psychological expenses.  

Timesharing

The second main component of the parenting plan as part of a divorce or paternity action is for the parents to decide the weekly schedule to spend time with the children. 

Parents decide together when, where, and how exchanges will occur.  Currently, Florida has an equal timesharing presumption. Thus, children can have the opportunity to spend equal time with both parents.

Extra-curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities can be a sticking point for parents because it requires both time and financial resources that can become taxing to one or both parents.

 

Extra-curricular activities are not included in child support calculations. Parents must decide together how they will enroll the children and  how to distribute the costs for these activities. 

Both parents have an obligation to provide for their children financially. It is not something that can be waived if you are in a divorce or going through a paternity action. 

 

We use reliable and up-to-date software to calculate child support according to the Florida Statutes. Learn more about how child support works on our Child Support page. 

I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Katiana S Saintable, as a mediator, and I must say, her expertise and professionalism made a significant impact on today's mediation process. She was incredibly skilled at keeping the communication channels open between all parties and ensuring that each person felt heard and respected. Her ability to remain neutral and facilitate constructive dialogue was truly impressive. Thanks to her efforts they were able to reach fair and mutually beneficial resolution. I highly recommend Ms. Katiana S Saintable to anyone in need of mediation services.

Roxy Pelaez, Spanish Language Interpreter

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