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4 Things to Know About Parenting Plans

Parenting Plans

A Parenting Plan is a document that establishes each parent's rights and responsibilities regarding their child. While relatively recent in Florida, they are necessary to avoid some common co-parenting issues.

1. In Disagreement, the Parenting Plan Controls:

In theory, you and the other parent could take the Parenting Plan, place it in a drawer, and never look at it again. If you both agree to something different then you can do essentially anything you both consent to. In the event of a DISAGREEMENT, the Parenting Plan controls. It is adopted into a Court Order when your Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered.

2. Relocation Statute 61.13001:

The Parenting Plan will establish that either the Relocation Statute (Florida Statute 61.13001) applies for any future move of either party or some other mutually agreed upon language regarding potential relocation. Typically, it is simply the Relocation Statute put in the Parenting Plan.

I remember a time when the Relocation Statute did not exist. There was a time, many moons ago, that one parent could just up and move and the other parent had no control or say so over the matter. Clearly this was a problem. The parent with primary residential responsibility or custody (these terms were used before the wording changed to time-sharing) could move clear across the country and the other parent was left to deal with this new reality. This was extremely difficult on the other parent. Routinely, I would have this other party come to me to try and do something. I would try but without any specific legal recourse the outcomes were very unpredictable.

So this brings us to the Relocation Statute, which dictates that a parent seeking to relocate more than fifty (50) miles from their principle place of residence at the time the Parenting Plan was entered. There is a specific process which is required to be followed.