The Florida Legislature has recently made it a little easier to establish a parenting plan in Department of Revenue administrative child support proceedings by eliminating the need to also go before the circuit court to establish an agreed parenting plan. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the new law allows parents in these administrative proceedings to either devise and agree to their own parenting time plan or to agree to a Standard Parenting Time Plan that will be incorporated into the administrative child support order. This eliminates the need for parents to appear before the circuit court, also allowing them to avoid paying the court fees associated with a circuit court appearance. The new law does not apply in cases involving domestic violence.
Keep in mind that the parents must agree to and sign either their own written parenting time plan or the Standard Parenting Time Plan in order to benefit from this legislative plan. Here is a preview of the Standard Parenting Time Plan:
Every other weekend—The second and fourth full weekend of the month from 6 p.m. on Friday through 6 p.m. on Sunday. The weekends may begin upon the child’s release from school on Friday and end on Sunday at 6 p.m. or when the child returns to school on Monday morning. The weekend time may be extended by holidays that fall on Friday or Monday.
One evening per week—One weekday beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. or, if both parents agree, from when the child is released from school until 8 p.m.
Thanksgiving break—In even-numbered years, the Thanksgiving break from 6 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until 6 p.m. on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. If both parents agree, the Thanksgiving break parenting time may begin upon the child’s release from school and end upon the child’s return to school the following Monday;
Winter break—In odd-numbered years, the first half of winter break, from the child’s release from school, beginning at 6 p.m. or, if both parents agree, upon the child’s release from school, until noon on December 26. In even-numbered years, the second half of winter break from noon on December 26 until 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes or, if both parents agree, upon the child’s return to school.
Spring break—In even-numbered years, the week of spring break from 6 p.m. the day the child is released from school until 6 p.m. the night before school resumes. If both parents agree, the spring break parenting time may begin upon the child’s release from school and end upon the child’s return to school the following Monday.
Summer break—For 2 weeks in the summer beginning at 6 p.m. the first Sunday following the last day of school.
If the parents have not agreed on any written parenting time plan at the time of the child support hearing, the new law provides for the entry of a child support order in the administrative proceeding, and a referral to the circuit court to establish a parenting time plan.
The Law Office of Jeanne Coleman is available to assist parents in writing their own custom parenting time plan to best meet the needs of their child or children, or to represent a parent in Department of Revenue administrative hearings. Call for a free 20-minute consultation. Jeanne Coleman is a highly experienced family law attorney who has practiced family law in the Tampa Bay area for more than 25 years. Her expertise in all areas of family law can help you in your divorce case, paternity case, or post-judgment matters.