Parenting Plans & Child Custody


Parents who are in the middle of a divorce, as well as those who are planning to separate from their spouse, are required to create a parenting plan, according to Florida Law. A parenting plan details how each parent plans to cooperatively raise their child or children. Even if each of the parents agrees to a time-sharing schedule and the terms of a plan, they must have court approval to legitimize the plan.

Florida Statute § 61.13 details the specific requirements that parenting plans must meet. It also explains how a court will assess the suitability of any proposed arrangement. In order to ensure that the strict legal standards are fulfilled and that you obtain the best possible result for you and your child, it is advisable to have a competent family law attorney at your side, who can provide you with assistance every step of the way.

What Is A Parenting Plan?

Florida law establishes a presumption that it’s in the best interest of a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents who share in the child-rearing. The best interests of the child are the standard by which all decisions regarding custody and support are measured. Although the norm is that the court will order 50-50 shared parental responsibility, a court may award sole parental responsibility if evidence of child abuse or other types of domestic violence is presented with respect to a parent.

In addition, a criminal conviction of crimes involving violence or abuse creates a rebuttable presumption that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. For more information, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Gainesville attorneys.

Florida Statute § 61.13 requires parents to create a parenting plan, to which the following minimum standards must be included.

  • How parents will share in the handling of the various daily tasks associated with raising the child
  • A time-sharing schedule that establishes how the child’s time will be spent with each parent;
  • A decision as to which parent will take care of health care, school matters, including which address is to be used for school boundary purposes, and other activities; and
  • The methods by which the parents will communicate with the children.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Create A Parenting Plan?

The establishment of a workable parenting plan is critical to the success of raising your child in the manner you believe is best. In order to obtain court approval, it is necessary to present your plan in the best possible manner in light of the many factors the court is required to consider.

The Gainesville divorce lawyers with The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates have handled hundreds of child custody cases and are can help you make this process as easy as possible.