Florida residents who are going through the custody process should be aware of a law that went into effect in 2018 involving a standard parenting time plan. The purpose of the new law is to encourage parents to work together on developing a custody schedule that serves the child’s best interests and allows each parent meaningful time with the child.
The standard parenting time plan is given to parents who are seeking to establish paternity or petition for child support. A parenting plan is designed to lay out a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, which is the parent who does not have the child most of the time.
Standard parenting time plan schedules
There are many different potential schedules that the standard parenting time plan suggests. The non-custodial parent may have an every-other-weekend schedule from Friday to Sunday, with specific times, or the weekend can start when the child is done with school on Friday and end when the child returns to school on Monday.
The non-custodial parent can also receive one weeknight of visitation, with the visitation period lasting a few hours. Spring and winter breaks are usually evenly split, and the non-custodial parent receives a longer chunk of time, such as 2-weeks in the summer.
You are not required to use these schedules
This law only suggests these visitation schedules. You and your co-parent are not required to use them if another schedule works better for the two of you.
These schedules are only suggestions, so if you feel coerced into doing one that you do not believe is best for your child or your situation, speak up. Do not agree to anything that you will regret later.
It is important to understand how the standard parenting time plan law will affect your situation. Custody attorneys who are familiar with the law can provide you with advice tailored to your situation.