When you and your child’s other parent plan to share parenting duties but are not romantically involved, you must come up with a parenting plan to help you do so. The state requires all parents involved in time-sharing to come up with parenting plans, even if the two of you agree on how to co-parent your shared child.

According to the Florida Courts, you have the option of creating a parenting plan with your former partner and having it approved by the court. If you and your ex are unable to agree about matters covered by the parenting plan, the court may create one on your behalf. As far as the contents of your parenting plan, the state has a list of guidelines that dictate exactly what your parenting plan must cover.

Parenting plan requirements

At a minimum, your parenting plan must address the time-sharing schedule you and your son or daughter’s other parent either agreed upon or had the state determine for you. The plan must also address how you plan to share basic day-to-day tasks relating to your child’s upbringing. This might include anything from preparing meals and providing clothing and necessities to transporting the child to school or extracurriculars.

Your plan also must address who handles signing off on medical decisions and educational matters. If you plan to share these responsibilities, make sure to reference this in your plan.

Other necessary inclusions

The state also requires that you include language in your parenting plan about how you and your ex plan to communicate with your shared child when he or she is with the other parent. If the child is old enough to have a cellphone, you may plan to communicate using his or her personal line. Otherwise, you might decide to have your child contact you by phone nightly or weekly while staying with the other parent, or vice-versa.

When crafting your parenting plan, make sure to keep your focus on what is beneficial for the child, rather than what works well for you or your ex.