Attorney Preparation of a Parenting Plan

If you have children under the age of 18 with your spouse, and the two of you are legally separating, you are required to file a parenting plan detailing how the two of you will move forward and co-parent your child(ren).

A parenting plan attorney will assist you in drafting this plan, including determining time, sharing, vacation time, holiday time, school, designations, and extracurricular activities. 

Please note you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must agree on these issues. If you cannot agree, we recommend scheduling a mediation session to help you reach a fair arrangement.


What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a written agreement between divorced or separated parents outlining how they will raise and care for their children. It is often required by courts to ensure it meets legal standards and serves the child’s best interests.

Through expert parenting plan preparation, parents can avoid frequent court interventions, saving time and money while fostering a cooperative parenting relationship.

At the end of the day, drafting a parenting plan isn’t just about filling out another divorce paper. It’s a smart step in promoting your child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being during this complicated time.

Parenting Plan Preparation Will Account For…

Custody Arrangements

When drafting a parenting plan, define who will make major decisions about the child, where the child will live, and how time will be divided between the co-parents.

Visitation Schedules

The court will want to see an outline of the weekly parenting routine, including how the co-parents will address holidays, special occasions, and vacations.

Parental Responsibilities

Which parent is responsible for what? Make sure your plan identifies day-to-day care and decision-making roles for each of the co-parents.

Communication Plans

Detail how and when the co-parents will communicate with the child and each other. This can be via phone calls, emails, video sessions, or in-person meetings.

Transportation & Exchange Details

You’ll need to iron out several logistical details upfront, such as who will take the child to school and where custody exchanges will take place regularly.

Dispute Resolution Procedures

What will happen if there’s a conflict between the co-parents? Your plan should account for necessary steps such as mediation through a parenting plan lawyer.

Child’s Activities & Expenses

A detailed parenting plan should discuss the child’s extracurriculars and education. How will they be chosen, supported, and funded by the co-parents?

Healthcare & Education Needs

Outline how medical decisions will be made for the child, as well as schooling choices. How involved will each co-parent be in both of these elements?

Parental Conduct Expectations

We highly recommend setting expectations for each parent’s behavior, including how they will discipline and speak about the co-parent in front of the child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is it recommended to work with a parenting plan attorney?

Although you can file a plan without consulting an attorney, drafting a parenting plan can be emotionally draining and complicated.

Our professional parenting plan attorneys help you create a legally sound, comprehensive plan that meets both parents’ needs and preferences. This increases your chances of getting court approval the first time you file, expediting the process and ensuring all aspects of the child’s well-being are covered.

Additionally, a parenting plan lawyer can mediate between parents, helping to find mutually agreeable solutions and minimizing conflicts along the way.

Q2. What happens if parents can’t agree on a parenting plan?

It’s generally best for parents to agree on a parenting plan outside of court and submit it together.

However, drafting a parenting plan is challenging, especially during a divorce when emotions are high. Things aren’t always black and white, and agreeing is often easier said than done. After all, you’re talking about your children.

If communication issues make it hard to agree, consider seeking help from a counselor, therapist, or family specialist to minimize emotional conflicts. Professional divorce mediation with trained attorneys can also help you reach a mutually acceptable plan without going to court.

If you simply cannot come to an agreement, each parent must submit a plan to the court at least 45 days before trial. This can draw out the legal process, leading to a longer, more painful process. That’s why we highly recommend exhausting all of your mediation options through a parenting plan lawyer first.

Q3. Can parenting plans be modified later?

Hopefully, you won’t need to! However, if your original parenting plan doesn’t work out, you can continue to make changes in Florida.

To modify the parenting schedule, you must show a “material change in circumstances” that warrants the change and proves it will serve the children’s best interests. This ensures stability for the children and prevents unnecessary changes made for convenience.

Parents can submit a new parenting plan for court approval. If there’s disagreement, you may need mediation to reach a consensus.

Q4. What happens if a parent doesn’t follow the parenting plan?

If a parent doesn’t follow the parenting plan in Florida, several actions can be taken:

  1. The non-compliant parent can be held in contempt of court for violating the court-ordered parenting plan. This can result in fines, community service, or even jail time.
  2. The court may modify the existing parenting plan to ensure compliance. This can include changing the custody arrangement or visitation schedule.
  3. The court might order make-up time for the parent who was denied their scheduled parenting time.
  4. The non-compliant parent may be required to pay the other parent’s attorney fees and court costs associated with enforcing the parenting plan.
  5. The court may order the non-compliant parent to attend counseling or parenting classes to address the issues causing the non-compliance.
  6. The court might require supervised visitation for the non-compliant parent to ensure the children’s safety and well-being.

In severe cases, non-compliance might be reported to child protective services if the children’s welfare is at risk.

Q5. How much do parenting plan preparation services cost?

It depends. If you and your partner require mediation or additional services in order to create the plan, you will likely incur higher fees than the standard submission cost.

Get in touch with one of our parenting plan attorneys to learn more about pricing and supplemental services.

Get in Touch With a Parenting Plan Lawyer

There’s no beating around the bush: divorce is hard, and it’s even harder when children are involved.

At Untying The Knot, we’re here to help you take the next best steps to protect your family and streamline your separation. If you’re ready to prepare a parenting plan, let’s talk.