Excerpts from a Fathers4Equality article ~
The best interests of your children are the most important thing for you to think about when you make a Parenting Plan Agreement.
A parenting plan can include anything that parents need to agree on about their children. The plan can be changed at any time with the agreement of both parents.
If you want your parenting agreement to be recognized by law as a Parenting Plan it must be developed in a particular way. It needs to be written down, dated and signed by both of you.
What are the Advantages?
Because a parenting plan is worked out and agreed by both of you, agreeing in this way means you have control over the process and you won’t need to fight things out in court. Going to court can be a tense, traumatic, expensive, long term experience and it can be hard to get off the roundabout. In some situations court involvement is absolutely necessary, but parents who have been through the system say to avoid it if you can.
Coming to a workable agreement without going to court saves parents a lot of money, time and distress and, more importantly, it is better for your children. Research clearly shows that it’s not the separation of their parents that harms children the most; it’s the ongoing arguments and negativity between the parents, and the that children feel when their parents can’t co-operate about things that affect their daily lives.
When children know that their parents have talked about what’s best for them, and know that a plan is written down, they are likely to feel cared for and safer. If your children can predict of their lives and know that you will keep the adult issues between adults, they will be able to manage the stresses and fears of the separation much better.
Fathers4Equality strongly encourage all parties going through separation and discussing the children’s arrangements, to document the agreed terms in Consent Orders, as opposed to a Parenting Plan. It is free to do so, and usually requires the document to be submitted to the Court, where in most cases the aprents not even asked to appear in front of the judicial officer.
Although a Parenting Plan is less stressful and less formal to create, it is in real terms simply a ‘guide document’, and if one of the parents fails to comply with the agreement, the other parentsimply has no recourse. So in truth a Parenting Plan has no teeth, and it would only work if bothparents treat it in good faith.
A Parenting Plan IS NOT legally enforceable, while Consent Orders are, and while many may argue that the Courts are loathsome to penalize offenders who have shown repeated contempt for their undertakings, at least in law and psychologically, there are implications for breaching the parenting agreement, and this incentive for co-operation is sadly missing if one chooses to seal their post-separation agreement with a Parenting Plan.
And it's the Law...
"Reckless Disregard" ~~ A True And Compelling Story About One "FIT" Father's Fighttowardchange.wordpress.com
And it's the Law...
2012 Florida Statutes ~ 61.046(14)Parenting Plan Definition:“Parenting Plan” means a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration.
- 2012 Florida Statutes ~ 61.046(14)(a)(b)(c)(d)
(a) The parenting plan must be:
1. Developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by a court; or
2. Established by the court, with or without the use of a court-ordered parenting plan recommendation, if the parents cannot agree to a plan or the parents agreed to a plan that is not approved by the court.
(b) Any parenting plan formulated under this chapter must address all jurisdictional issues, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, part II of this chapter, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 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.
(c) For purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, part II of this chapter, a judgment or order incorporating a parenting plan under this part is a child custody determination under part II of this chapter.
(d) For purposes of the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 42 U.S.C. ss. 11601 et seq., and the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, enacted at the Hague on October 25, 1980, rights of custody and rights of access are determined pursuant to the parenting plan under this part.
- 2012 Florida Statutes ~ 61.10
Adjudication of obligation to support spouse or minor child unconnected with dissolution; parenting plan.—Except when relief is afforded by some other pending civil action or proceeding, a spouse residing in this state apart from his or her spouse and minor child, whether or not such separation is through his or her fault, may obtain an adjudication of obligation to maintain the spouse and minor child, if any. The court shall adjudicate his or her financial obligations to the spouse and child and shall establish the parenting plan for the parties. Such an action does not preclude either party from maintaining any other proceeding under this chapter for other or additional relief at any time.
NOTE: When a parent refuses to honor the other parent’s rights under the time-sharing schedule, the parent whose time-sharing rights were violated shall continue to pay any ordered child support or alimony.
- 2012 Florida Statutes ~ 61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court.— (2)(a)(b)(c)1.
(2)(a) The court may approve, grant, or modify a parenting plan, notwithstanding that the child is not physically present in this state at the time of filing any proceeding under this chapter, if it appears to the court that the child was removed from this state for the primary purpose of removing the child from the court’s jurisdiction in an attempt to avoid the court’s approval, creation, or modification of a parenting plan.
(2)(b) A parenting plan approved by the court must, at a minimum, describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child; the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent; a designation of who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration, and other activities; and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.
(2)(c) The court shall determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change of circumstances.
1. It is the public policy of this state (Florida) that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.
"There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child." ~
2012 Florida Statutes
2012 Florida Statutes