When parents of minor children dissolve their marriage, the state of Florida requires both parties to create a unified parenting plan. This is a written document that specifies how the parents will share the responsibilities of caring for their children. According to the Florida legislature, the court may supply a parenting plan coordinator to offer suggestions and insight if the parents are unable to agree on a plan between themselves.
Each parenting plan should contain several elements according to the Florida courts. First, it should specify parental responsibility. Shared parental responsibility means that the parents will be equally involved in every major decision regarding the children's medical needs, education and other areas. However, if they are not able to reach a consensus on a particular issue, the final decision is made by the parent designated on the parenting plan.
Next, the plan should indicate how the parents will handle the logistics of the children's schedules, including activities, childcare and the time-sharing between parents. The plan should include specific details regarding which parent the children will be with on holidays, school breaks and other schedule irregularities. Additionally, the plan should specify which parent's address the children will use to determine school registration and which parent may choose the activities in which the children will participate.
The parenting plan should state which parent will pay for the children's transportation and activity expenses. It should also lay out how the parents will communicate with each other regarding the children's logistical needs and emotional well-being. Finally, the plan must specify how the children will be able to communicate with each parent while staying with the other.