What Exactly is the Florida Standard Parenting Time Plan?

Passed in Florida at the beginning of this year, the Standard Parenting Time Plan is meant to clarify and streamline the distribution of rights between divorced parents while emphasizing the child’s best interests. If you are a parent currently going through a divorce, here is what you should know about this recently passed law.

What this Plan Entails

One of the defining characteristics of the Standard Parenting Time Plan is that it lays out general guidelines for a parenting schedule. It should be noted, however, that these guidelines are not required, and that parents are urged to develop a schedule that works best for their family. With that being said, the suggested times for which the non-custodial parent should see the child are as follows:

  • Every other weekend
  • One evening per week (not overnight)
  • Thanksgiving break
  • Winter break
  • Spring break
  • Summer break

Once again, these above times are not set in stone. As every situation is different, it is important that you and your ex-spouse work out a plan that satisfies your and your child’s needs.

The Purpose of This Plan

The Standard Parenting Time Plan is part of the continuing efforts to shift the focus of family law policies towards the best interests of the children involved.

As part of this plan, parents must agree upon a schedule that lays out dates of visitation. Additionally, the plan waives the fees associated with filing for the parenting time plan – making the process much easier. Lastly, as this plan emphasizes the best interests of the child, it does not apply to cases that involve domestic violence. In domestic violence cases, proof of child safety concerns must be provided. If you are either in the process of, or are preparing for the negotiation of child custody, you should strongly consider consulting an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate the complicated process.

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