Time-Sharing and Parenting Plans in Florida Divorce and Paternity Cases

Time-sharing, also known as custody, and parenting plans can be the most challenging aspects of divorce or paternity cases. In Florida, the courts recognize that parents play a crucial role in a child’s development. Studies have shown that children thrive when they are emotionally supported and loved. The trend in family court is to encourage a 50-50 time-sharing and visitation arrangement so that each parent contributes to a child’s upbringing.

Compassionate Family Law Attorney in Palm Coast, Florida

At McGee Law, PLLC, we know that ending a marriage and establishing co-parenting are emotionally challenging. Family dynamics are complex, and for most parents, the well-being of their children is their highest priority. Our legal team will work with you to devise a strategy that reflects your family’s needs and concerns. 

Attorney Jennifer McGee has in-depth knowledge of Florida family laws and understands the complexities and legal intricacies you face in divorce or paternity cases. Whether you and your spouse are dissolving your marriage amicably or you anticipate a legal battle involving child custody, we are here to help you succeed and start a new chapter in your life. To establish a relationship with your child in a paternity case, we offer guidance and legal representation for your time-sharing and parenting rights.

What is a Parenting Plan?

While time-sharing refers to the number of overnight visits the court awards each parent, a parenting plan specifies each parent’s rights and responsibilities. It is a legal document that Florida courts require during a divorce or paternity proceeding when minor children are in the home. A parenting plan must always be developed in the children’s best interest. 

The primary goals of parenting plans are facilitating a relationship with both parents, creating a prearranged visitation schedule, establishing parental decision-making expectations, and ensuring the child’s well-being. In paternity cases, when unmarried couples have a child, the court determines legal parentage and implements a parenting plan.

Types of Parenting Plans

There are parenting plans to address various scenarios, depending on the dynamics of each family. A basic parenting plan in Florida applies when the parents of minor children live relatively close to each other. A long-distance parenting plan applies to parents who live more than 50 miles apart.

A supervised or safety-focused parenting plan is appropriate when a child may be at risk when in the company of a parent. Visitation occurs with another person in the room in a supervisory role, and that individual can be a family member, a friend, or a social worker. There are various reasons necessitating a supervised/safety-focused parenting plan, such as prior child abuse or neglect, drug or alcohol addiction of the parent, or mental illness that could endanger a child’s safety. In extreme cases, parental rights may be terminated. 

What is Included in a Parenting Plan?

  • A detailed time-sharing schedule for day-to-day activities, holidays, and vacations
  • Transportation arrangements
  • The parent that holds decision-making authority regarding education, religion, and health
  • The method of communication between the parents and the children 
  • The parent responsible for health insurance
  • Daycare arrangements
  • The process used in the event of a dispute between the parents

What Happens When a Parent is Non-Compliant?

Time-sharing and parenting plans are enforceable in a court of law. Failure to comply with a court order may result in the offending parent being held in contempt of court, paying fines, or serving jail time. If you cannot meet your time-sharing and parenting plan obligations, filing a petition for modification is important so that you are not held in contempt of court.

There are various reasons why time-sharing and parenting plans may need to be modified. Your current arrangements may no longer meet your children’s needs as they grow. Changes in a parent’s work schedule, a relocation, or a health issue may necessitate modifications to these plans. 

McGee Law, PLLC: Protecting Your Family’s Best Interests

When going through a divorce or paternity proceeding, Attorney Jennifer McGee is committed to advocating for your rights and securing the optimal time-sharing and parenting plans for your children. At McGee Law, PLLC, our legal team is available to answer your questions about divorce or paternity, or any other family law matters you may encounter. Contact McGee Law, PLLC at (386) 320-7300 to schedule a confidential appointment at one of our Palm Coast, Florida offices. We are here to help you confidently transition through life’s changes.

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