According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the Title IV-D Standard Parenting Time Plan will now be amalgamated into administrative orders for paternity and child support. The primary consideration of the standard parenting plan is to foster regular contact between parents and their children and to develop a close and enduring relationship between them after a separation or divorce. The state presents the standard parenting time plan as a choice to parents and does not endorse any plan over another.

Whether parents agree to this plan or to another, it must be signed by both the parties in order to be incorporated into the administrative order. A parenting time plan will not be incorporated into the support order if the parties do not agree to any timesharing schedule at the time the administrative order is established. In such cases, the DOR will refer the parties to the court to establish a plan with a note stating that an administrative support order has been put in place. The DOR cannot enforce a new plan or modify an existing one after a parenting time plan is incorporated and included in the support order. Any modifications to the plan can only be sought through a court.

The Title IV-D Standard Parenting Time Plan allows the parent making support payments to spend every other weekend with the children. The weekend starts Friday evening and ends Monday morning. The plan is specific and also covers one evening a week from 6 to 8 p.m., Thanksgiving break, spring break and half of the child’s winter break from school, and two weeks in summer. However, the Title IV-D Standard Parenting Time Plan cannot be used in cases where domestic violence has occurred.

This provision in the law has the effect of giving parents an unequivocal right to share time with their children after a separation or divorce. Parents going through a divorce and child custody proceedings who wish to learn more about the state child support program may seek assistance of a legal professional to guide them through the procedure.