Florida Divorce and Summer Time-Sharing: Dealing with Summer Holidays, Summer Camp, and Vacation

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Jacksonville Florida parents who go through a divorce can write a parenting plan to decide how they will divide their children’s time after a divorce. The plan provides a roadmap for the child’s future, and is the most important document in a Florida divorce with children.

A parenting plan approved by the court must at a minimum: describe how parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child, the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the child will spend with each parent, a designation of who will be responsible for health care, school-related matters, other actives, and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.

A parenting plan has two separate components: (1) decision making- parental responsibilities and privileges to make decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of the child, and (2) time sharing- where the child lives at any given time and contact with the other parent. These two aspects are distinct and must be examined according to the best interest of the child.

In Florida, a statutory presumption exists that shared parental responsibility is in the best interest of a child. The burden is on the party opposing shared parental responsibility to demonstrate that it will be detrimental to the children. With shared parental responsibility, both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with regard to their children and confer to make mutual decisions about the children.

A “time-sharing schedule” is a timetable that is included in the parenting plan, which specifies the time that each child will spend with the parent. Florida Statute 61.13(4)(c) provide the court with specific means to enforce the time-sharing schedule in the parenting plan. When a Jacksonville parent refuses to comply with the schedule without proper cause, the statute lists a number of sanctions that the court may impose. For more information on parenting plans, see the Florida Statutes.