Florida Divorce Guide – Considerations for a Parenting Plan

It is Florida’s public policy to ensure that each minor child maintains frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents’ divorce or the marriage is dissolved, and to encourage parents to share the rights, responsibilities, and joys of child-rearing. Regardless of the child’s age or gender, the court considers both parties equally when determining parental responsibility and time-sharing.

In most cases, parental responsibility for a minor child is shared by both parents, so that each parent retains full parental rights and responsibilities with regard to their child. Shared parenting necessitates the participation of both parents in order for major decisions affecting the child’s welfare to be made jointly. You and your spouse may agree, or the court may order, that one parent has primary responsibility for certain aspects of the child’s welfare, such as education, religion, or medical and dental needs. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the court will decide any or all of these issues.

In extremely rare circumstances, the court may assign sole parental responsibility to one parent. To do so, the court must find that shared parental responsibility is harmful to the child.

In determining parental responsibility, the court will either approve or create its own Parenting Plan, which includes responsibility for daily child-rearing tasks, time-sharing schedules, and decision-making authority over health care, school, and related activities. The plan will also outline any technology that will be used to facilitate parent-child communication. Parents can either agree on a Parenting Plan and submit it to the court for approval, or the court will decide these issues. The statute includes a list of factors that the court must take into account when making these decisions.

When it comes to parental issues, the courts apply the best-interests-of-the-child standard.

Before entering into a final dissolution of marriage, Florida law requires both parties to attend a parenting course. Some courts require children of parents who are divorcing to attend a class designed specifically for them. For information on available courses, contact your county clerk’s office.



Brandon Legal Group
1209 Lakeside Drive
Brandon FL, 33510
(813) 902-3576

Close Popup

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

Close Popup