Archive for July, 2009


Parenting Plans

Parenting Plans came into existence on October 1, 2008. Below is the Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form for Parenting Plans (effective March 2009) with some very slight modifications mostly made to format the form for this site. Also included are most of the instructions and disclosures for the form. Click here to access the actual Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form in PDF format.

When should this form be used?

A Parenting Plan is required in all cases involving time-sharing with minor child(ren), even when time-sharing is not in dispute. This form or a similar form should be used in the development of a Parenting Plan. If the case involves supervised time-sharing, the Supervised/Safety Focused Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995 (b) or a similar form should be used.

This form should be typed or printed in black ink. If an agreement has been reached, both parties must sign the Parenting Plan and have their signatures witnessed by a notary public or deputy clerk. After completing this form, you should file the original with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where the petition was filed and keep a copy for your records. You should then refer to the instructions for your petition, answer, or answer and counterpetition concerning the procedures for setting a hearing or trial (final hearing). If an agreed Parenting Plan is not filed by the parties, the Court shall establish a Plan.

Special notes…

At a minimum, the Parenting Plan must describe in adequate detail:

• How the parties will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child(ren),
• The time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child(ren) will spend with each parent,
• A designation of who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities, and
• The methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child(ren).

The best interests of the child(ren) is the primary consideration in the Parenting Plan. In creating the Parenting Plan, all circumstances between the parties, including the parties’ historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration. Determination of the best interests of the child(ren) shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interest of the minor child(ren), including, but not limited to:

• The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required;
• The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties;
• The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child(ren) as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent;
• The length of time the child(ren) has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
• The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child(ren);
• The moral fitness of the parents;
• The mental and physical health of the parents;
• The home, school, and community record of the child(ren);
• The reasonable preference of the child(ren), if the court deems the child(ren) to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference;
• The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child(ren), including, but not limited to, the child(ren)’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things;
• The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child(ren), such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime;
• The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child(ren), and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child(ren);
• Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought;
• Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect;
• The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division or parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties;
• The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child(ren)’s school and extracurricular activities;
• The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child(ren) which is free from substance abuse;
• The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child(ren) from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child(ren), not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child(ren), and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child)ren); and
• The developmental stages and needs of the child(ren) and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child(ren)’s developmental needs.

This standard form does not include every possible issue that may be relevant to the facts of your case. The Parenting Plan should be as detailed as possible to address the time-sharing schedule. Additional provisions should be added to address all of the relevant factors. The parties should give special consideration to the age and needs of each child.

In developing the Parenting Plan, you may wish to consult or review other materials which are available at your local library, law library or through national and state family organizations.

Remember, a person who is NOT an attorney is called a nonlawyer. If a nonlawyer helps you fill out these forms, that person must give you a copy of a Disclosure from Nonlawyer, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.900 (a), before he or she helps you. A nonlawyer helping you fill out these forms also must put his or her name, address, and telephone number on the bottom of the last page of every form he or she helps you complete.

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE _____________________ JUDICIAL
CIRCUIT IN AND FOR _________________ COUNTY, FLORIDA

Case No: _____________________
Division: _____________________

_______________________________
Petitioner

and
_______________________________
Respondent

PARENTING PLAN

This parenting plan is: (Choose only one)

[ ] A Parenting Plan submitted to the court with the agreement of the parties.
[ ] A proposed Parenting Plan submitted by or on behalf of:
{Parent’s Name}_______________________________________________.
[ ] A Parenting Plan established by the court.

This parenting plan is: (Choose only one)

[ ] A final Parenting Plan established by the court.
[ ] A temporary Parenting Plan established by the court.
[ ] A modification of a prior final Parenting Plan or prior final order.

I. PARENTS

Mother’s Name: _________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________

Telephone Number: ______________________________________________

E-Mail: ________________________________________________________

Father’s Name:__________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________

Telephone Number: ______________________________________________

E-Mail: ________________________________________________________

II. CHILDREN: This parenting plan is for the following child(ren) born to, or adopted by the parties: (add additional lines as needed)

Name Date of Birth Sex
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

III. JURISDICTION

The United States is the country of habitual residence of the child(ren).

The State of Florida is the child(ren)’s home state for the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

This Parenting Plan is a child custody determination for the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 11601 et seq., the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction enacted at the Hague on October 25, 1980, and for all other state and federal laws.

Other: _______________________________________________________________

IV. PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND DECISION MAKING

1. Parental Responsibility (Choose only one)

[ ] Shared Parental Responsibility.
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the parents confer and jointly make all major decisions affecting the welfare of the child(ren). Major decisions include, but are not limited to, decisions about the child(ren)’s education, healthcare, and other responsibilities unique to this family.

OR

[ ] Shared Parental Responsibility with Decision Making Authority
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the parents confer and attempt to agree on the major decisions involving the child(ren). If the parents are unable to agree, the authority for making major decisions regarding the child(ren) shall be as follows:

Education/Academic decisions [ ] Mother [ ] Father
Non-emergency health care [ ] Mother [ ] Father
___________________________ [ ] Mother [ ] Father
___________________________ [ ] Mother [ ] Father
___________________________ [ ] Mother [ ] Father

OR

[ ] Sole Parental Responsibility:
It is in the best interests of the child(ren) that the [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall have sole authority to make major decisions for the child(ren.)

2. Day-to-Day Decisions
Each parent shall make decisions regarding day-to-day care and control of each child while the child is with that parent. Regardless of the allocation of decision making in the parenting plan, either parent may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child(ren) when the child is residing with that parent. A parent who makes an emergency decision shall share the decision with the other parent as soon as reasonably possible.

3. Extra-curricular Activities ( Choose all that apply)

[ ] Either parent may register the child(ren) and allow them to participate in the activity of the child(ren)’s choice.

[ ] The parents must mutually agree to all extra-curricular activities.

[ ] The parent with the minor child(ren) shall transport the minor child(ren) to and/or from all mutually agreed upon extra-curricular activities, providing all necessary uniforms and equipment within the parent’s possession.

[ ] The costs of the extra-curricular activities shall be paid by:
Mother _________% Father __________ %

[ ] The uniforms and equipment required for the extra-curricular activities shall be paid by:
Mother _________% Father __________%

[ ] Other: _____________________________________________________ .

V. INFORMATION SHARING. Unless otherwise indicated or ordered by the Court:

Both parents shall have access to medical and school records pertaining to the child(ren) and shall be permitted to independently consult with any and all professionals involved with the child(ren). The parents shall cooperate with each other in sharing information related to the health, education, and welfare of the child(ren) and they shall sign any necessary documentation ensuring that both parents have access to said records.

Each parent shall be responsible for obtaining records and reports directly from the school and health care providers.

Both parents have equal rights to inspect and receive governmental agency and law enforcement records concerning the child(ren).

Both parents shall have equal and independent authority to confer with the child(ren)’s school, day care, health care providers, and other programs with regard to the child(ren)’s educational, emotional, and social progress.

Both parents shall be listed as “emergency contacts” for the child(ren).

Each parent has a continuing responsibility to provide a residential, mailing, or contact address and contact telephone number to the other parent. Each parent shall notify the other parent in writing within 24 hours of any changes. Each parent shall notify the court in writing within seven (7) days of any changes.

Other:
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________

VI. SCHEDULING

1. School Calendar
If necessary, on or before ______________ of each year, both parents should obtain a copy of the school calendar for the next school year. The parents shall discuss the calendars and the time-sharing schedule so that any differences or questions can be resolved.

The parents shall follow the school calendar of: (Choose all that apply)
[ ] the oldest child
[ ] the youngest child
[ ] the school calendar for _________________ County
[ ] the school calendar for _________________ School

2. Academic Break Definition
When defining academic break periods, the period shall begin at the end of the last scheduled day of classes before the holiday or break and shall start on the first day of regularly scheduled classes after the holiday or break.

3. Schedule Changes (Choose all that apply)

[ ] A parent making a request for a schedule change will make the request as soon as possible, but in any event, except in cases of emergency, no less than ________________ before the change is to occur.

[ ] A parent requesting a change of schedule shall be responsible for any additional child care, or transportation costs caused by the change.

[ ] Other ___________________________________________________________.

VII. TIME-SHARING SCHEDULE

1. Weekday and Weekend Schedule
The following schedule shall apply beginning on _____________________________________
with the [ ] Mother [ ] Father and continue as follows:

A. The child(ren) shall spend time with the Mother on the following dates and times:

WEEKENDS: [ ] Every [ ] Every Other [ ] Other (specify) __________________________________________________________________
From ______________________________
To ________________________________

WEEKDAYS: Specify days
_________________________________________________________________
From _____________________________
To _______________________________

OTHER:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

B. The child(ren) shall spend time with the Father on the following dates and times:

WEEKENDS: [ ] Every [ ] Every Other [ ] Other (specify)
_________________________________________________________________

From ____________________________
To ______________________________

WEEKDAYS: Specify days
_________________________________________________________________
From ____________________________
To ______________________________

OTHER:
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

C. Check box if there is a different time sharing schedule for any child. Complete a separate Attachment for each child for whom there is a different time sharing schedule.

[ ] There is a different time-sharing schedule for the following child(ren) in Attachment ______.

______________________________, and _________________________.
(Name of Child)                                                             (Name of Child)

2. Holiday Schedule (Choose only one)

[ ] No holiday time sharing shall apply. The regular time-sharing schedule set forth above shall apply.

[ ] Holiday time-sharing shall be as the parties agree.

[ ] Holiday time-sharing shall be in accordance with the following schedule. The Holiday schedule will take priority over the regular weekday, weekend, and summer schedules. Fill in the blanks with Mother or Father to indicate where the child(ren) will be for the holidays. Provide the beginning and ending times. If a holiday is not specified as even, odd, or every year with one parent, then the child(ren) will remain with the parent in accordance with the regular schedule

Holidays                    Even Years    Odd Years    Every Year     Begin/End Time
Mother’s Day
Father’s day
President’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Easter
Passover
Memorial Day Weekend
4th of July
Labor Day Weekend
Columbus Day Weekend
Halloween
Thanksgiving
Veteran’s Day
Hanukkah
Yom Kippur
Rosh Hashanah
Child(ren)’s Birthdays
_______________
_______________

This holiday schedule may affect the regular Time-Sharing Schedule. Parents may wish to specify one or more of the following options:

[ ] When the parents are using an alternating weekend plan and the holiday schedule would result in one parent having the child(ren) for three weekends in a row, the parents will exchange the following weekend, so that each has two weekends in a row before the regular alternating weekend pattern resumes.

[ ] If a parent has the child(ren) on a weekend immediately before or after an unspecified holiday or non-school day, they shall have the child(ren) for the holiday or non-school day.

3. Winter Break
A. Entire Winter Break (Choose only one)

[ ] The [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall have the child(ren) from the day and time school is dismissed until December _____ at _____ a.m./p. m in [ ] odd-numbered years [ ] even-numbered years [ ] every year. The other parent will have the children for the second portion of the Winter Break. The parties shall alternative the arrangement each year.

[ ] The [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall have the child(ren) for the entire Winter Break during [ ] odd-numbered years [ ] even-numbered years [ ] every year.

[ ] Other:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

B. Specific Winter Holidays
If not addressed above, the specific Winter Holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. and shall be shared as follows:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

4. Spring Break (Choose only one)

[ ] The parents shall follow the regular schedule.

[ ] The parents shall alternate the entire Spring Break with the Mother having the child(ren) during the [ ] odd-numbered years [ ]even numbered years.

[ ] The [ ] Father [ ] Mother shall have the child(ren) for the entire Spring Break every year.

[ ] The Spring Break will be evenly divided. The first half of the spring Break will go to the parent whose regularly scheduled weekend falls on the first half and the second half going to the parent whose weekend falls during the second half.

[ ] Other: ___________________________________________________________

5. Summer Break (Choose only one)

[ ] The parents shall follow the regular schedule through the summer.

[ ] The [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall have the entire Summer Break from __________ after school is out until _______________ before school starts.

[ ] The parents shall equally divide the Summer Break. During [ ] odd-numbered years [ ] even numbered years, the [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall have the children from _______________________________ after school is out until ___________________________________________ The other parent shall have the child(ren) for the second one-half of the summer break. The parents shall alternate the first and second one-halves each year unless otherwise agreed. During the extended periods of time-sharing, the other parent shall have the child(ren) _______________________________________________________

[ ] Other: ___________________________________________________________

6. Number of Overnights:

Based upon the time-sharing schedule, the Mother has a total of _____ overnights per year and the Father has a total of _____ overnights per year. Note: The two numbers must equal 365.

7. [ ] If not set forth above, the parties shall have time-sharing in accordance with the schedule which is attached and incorporated herein.

VIII. TRANSPORTATION AND EXCHANGE OF CHILD(REN)

1. Transportation (Choose only one)

[ ] The [ ] Mother [ ] Father shall provide all transportation.

[ ] The parent beginning their time-sharing shall provide transportation for the child(ren).

[ ] The parent ending their time-sharing shall provide transportation for the child(ren).

[ ] Other: __________________________________________________________

2. Exchange (Choose only one)

Both parents shall have the child(ren) ready on time with sufficient clothing packed and ready at the agreed upon time of exchange. If a parent is more than ______ minutes late without contacting the other parent to make other arrangements, the parent with the child(ren) may proceed with other plans and activities.

[ ] Exchanges shall be at Mother’s and Father’s homes unless both parents agree to a different meeting place.

[ ] Exchanges shall occur at __________________________________________________________________
unless both parties agree in advance to a different meeting place.

[ ] Other: __________________________________________________________

3. Transportation Costs (Choose only one)

[ ] Transportation costs are included in the Child Support Worksheets and/or the Order for Child Support and should not be included here.

[ ] The Mother shall pay ______% and the Father shall pay ______ % of the transportation costs.

[ ] Other: _________________________________________________________

4. Foreign and Out-Of-State Travel (Choose only one)

[ ] Either parent may travel with the child(ren) during his/her time-sharing. The parent traveling with the child(ren) shall give the other parent at least ____ days written notice before traveling out of state unless there is an emergency, and shall provide the other parent with a detailed itinerary, including locations and telephone numbers where the child(ren) and parent can be reached at least ____ days before traveling.

[ ] Either parent may travel out of the country with the child(ren) during his/her time-sharing. At least ___ days prior to traveling, the parent shall provide a detailed itinerary, including locations, and telephone numbers where the child(ren) and parent may be reached during the trip. Each parent agrees to provide whatever documentation is necessary for the other parent to take the child(ren) out of the country.

[ ] If a parent wishes to travel out of the country with the child(ren), he/she shall provide the following security for the return of the child _________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________

[ ] Other: ___________________________________________________________

IX. EDUCATION

1. School designation. For purposes of school boundary determination and registration, the
[ ] Mother’s [ ] Father’s address shall be designated.

2. (If Applicable) The following provisions are made regarding private or home schooling:       ___________________________________________________________________

3. Other: ________________________________________________________________

X. DESIGNATION FOR OTHER LEGAL PURPOSES

The child(ren) named in this Parenting Plan are scheduled to reside the majority of the time with the [ ] Mother [ ] Father. This majority designation is SOLELY for purposes of all other state and federal laws which require such a designation. This designation does not affect either parent’s rights and responsibilities under this parenting plan.

XI. COMMUNICATION

1. Between Parents
All communications regarding the child(ren) shall be between the parents. The parents shall not use the child(ren) as messengers to convey information, ask questions, or set up schedule changes.

The parents shall communicate with each other by: (Choose all that apply)

[ ] in person
[ ] by telephone
[ ] by letter
[ ] by e-mail
[ ] Other: ___________________________________________________________

2. Between Parent and Child(ren)

Both parents shall keep contact information current. Telephone or other electronic communication between the child(ren) and the other parent shall not be monitored by or interrupted by the other parent. “Electronic communication” includes telephones, electronic mail or e-mail, webcams, video-conferencing equipment and software or other wired or wireless technologies or other means of communication to supplement face to face contact.

The child(ren) may have [ ] telephone [ ] e-mail [ ] other electronic communication in the form of ______________________________________ with the other parent: (Choose only one)
[ ] Anytime
[ ] Every day during the hours of ________________________________
to ________________________________________________________
[ ] On the following days _______________________________________
during the hours of ___________________________________________
to ________________________________________________________
[ ] Other: ___________________________________________________

3. Costs of Electronic Communication shall be addressed as follows:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

XII. CHILD CARE (Choose only one)

[ ] Each parent may select appropriate child care providers
[ ] All child care providers must be agreed upon by both parents.
[ ] Each parent must offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child(ren) before using a child care provider for any period exceeding _______ hours.
[ ] Other: __________________________________________________________________

XIII. CHANGES OR MODIFICATIONS OF THE PARENTING PLAN

This Parenting Plan may be modified or varied on a temporary basis when both parents agree in writing. When the parents do not agree, the Parenting Plan remains in effect until further order of the court.

Any substantial changes to the Parenting Plan must be sought through the filing of a supplemental petition for modification.

XIV. RELOCATION

Any relocation of the child(ren) is subject to and must be sought in compliance with section 61.13001, Florida Statutes.

XV. DISPUTES OR CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Parents shall attempt to cooperatively resolve any disputes which may arise over the terms of the Parenting Plan. The parents may wish to use mediation or other dispute resolution methods and assistance, such as Parenting Coordinators and Parenting Counselors, before filing a court action.

XVI. OTHER PROVISIONS
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

SIGNATURE OF PARENTS

I certify that I have been open and honest in entering into this Parenting Plan. I am satisfied with this Plan and intend to be bound by it.

Dated: _____________________________________________

__________________________________________________
Signature of Mother

Printed Name: ____________________________________
Address:
City, State, Zip:
Telephone Number:
Fax Number:
STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF _________________________

Sworn to or affirmed and signed before me on by .

NOTARY PUBLIC or DEPUTY CLERK

[Print, type, or stamp commissioned name of notary or clerk.]
Personally known

Produced identification
Type of identification produced _____________________________________

I certify that I have been open and honest in entering into this settlement agreement. I am satisfied with this agreement and intend to be bound by it.

Dated:________________________

_____________________________________________
Signature of Father

Printed Name: ____________________________________
Address:
City, State, Zip:
Telephone Number:
Fax Number:

STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF _________________________

Sworn to or affirmed and signed before me on by .

NOTARY PUBLIC or DEPUTY CLERK

[Print, type, or stamp commissioned name of notary or clerk.]
Personally known
Produced identification
Type of identification produced ____________________________________

IF A NONLAWYER HELPED YOU FILL OUT THIS FORM, HE/SHE MUST FILL IN THE BLANKS BELOW:

[fill in all blanks]

I, {full legal name and trade name of nonlawyer}, a nonlawyer, located at {street} , {city} _________________________,
{state} , {phone} , helped { name}, who is the [one only] petitioner or respondent, fill out this form

ORDER OF THE COURT

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT THE PARENTING PLAN SET FORTH ABOVE IS ADOPTED AND ESTABLISHED AS AN ORDER OF THIS COURT.

ORDERED ON ______________________________________________________________.

_____________________________
CIRCUIT JUDGE

COPIES TO:
Father (or his Attorney)
Mother (or her Attorney)
Other

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