Parenting plans and the 'best interests of the child'

Whether a parenting plan is negotiated between the parents or whether it is established by the court, the standard used in Florida is the "best interests of the child." There are a number of factors that will go into determining what the child's best interests are.

Some factors include whether the parents are willing and able to encourage a close and ongoing relationship between the child and each parent, whether the parents will adhere to the child custody and visitation schedule, and whether the parents will act reasonably if modifications to the time-sharing schedule are needed. Another factor is how parental responsibilities will be divided between the parents, which includes whether certain responsibilities will be fulfilled by a third party, such as child care.

The court will also consider whether the parents are willing and able to determine the needs of the child and act upon them, rather than acting upon their own desires. How long the child has stayed in a stable and safe environment will also be considered, as will whether it is desirable to continue this practice. Also, the geographic viability of the child custody and visitation schedule will be considered, especially with regards school-age children and the time it will take to transfer the child between parents when it is their turn for parenting time.

Other factors include each parent's moral fitness, physical health and mental health. The child's preference will be considered if it is reasonable. Each parent's knowledge, ability and willingness to be informed of certain aspects of the child's life, such as who the child's friends are, who the child's teachers and doctors are, what the child does on a day-to-day basis and what the child's favorite things are.

Each parent's ability and willingness to provide the child with a stable routine, will be considered. Another factor is each parent's ability to maintain communication with their ex with regards to the child's activities and any issues involving the child, so that the parents can be in agreement with regards to these issues.

Finally, the child's developmental needs, and each parent's ability and willingness to meet these needs will be considered.

This list is not all-exhaustive; there are other factors that will be considered as well. In the end, what is most important is that any parenting plan entered into meets the child's best interests. Doing so will go a long way into ensuring the child has a home life in which he or she is able to grow and thrive.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
EmailEmail Us For A Response

Moving Your Family Forward

To get you and your family moving on a path toward a brighter future, please contact the Altamonte Springs Law Office of Amy L. Beauchaine at 407-636-2985 or send our Altamonte Springs divorce attorney an email.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Amy L. Beauchaine, Attorney at Law
505 Maitland Ave. Suite 1150
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Phone: 407-571-6908
Fax: 407-218-4558
Altamonte Springs Law Office Map

Review Us