Time Sharing and Child Custody Lawyer, Hudson, FL
50/50 Time Sharing – The Best Interest of the Children
Florida Judges no longer award sole custody, primary or secondary residency to mothers or fathers who are divorcing or to those who are unmarried with children. If they do so, it is on rare occasion and must be due to circumstances that warrant them doing so.
In 2008 Florida law abolished this approach and lean towards a 50/50 time sharing arrangement. However, most Florida courts will require an evidentiary hearing to establish what type of time sharing schedule is in the best interest of the child or children. Currently, Florida law at a minimum requires that each parent describe in detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily schedules associated with the upbringing of the children. Time-sharing schedules should specify the following:
- The times, including holidays that the minor child will spend with each parent
- List and designate the parent who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, and extra curricular activities
- The method or communication between the parents regarding the child or children
- The method of communication between the parent and child while with the other parent
If you have established paternity, and/or if you are in the process of divorcing, parents must fill out a parenting plan which establishes time for each parent to share with the child or children. Using a parenting plan that each parent agrees upon, the courts will make this a part of the final order of your divorce, or final judgement. Most Florida courts make recommendations and offer Florida Legislature’s approved long distance parenting plans and a regular parenting plans for parents to use to establish responsibilities and schedules for time sharing.
Parenting plans and equal time sharing fosters a healthy relationship between both parents and children and attempts to work towards the best interest of all parties, especially the children. TIME SHARING IS FOR THE PRIMARY BENEFIT OF THE CHILD OR CHILDREN AND NOT THE PARENT. Unless you are using a long distance time sharing schedule, most of the time, the courts will order that the children will reside with one parent one week, another the next week. If yours is considered a long distance time sharing schedule, one parent may spend most of the school year with the child or children, then summer break and school holidays will be spent with the other parent which equates to one long weekend per month and the majority of summer and spring break.
Florida Statutes on Time Sharing
Florida Statutes are very clear with regards to time sharing. Once the courts have finalized your divorce or if your parental rights have been established and time sharing has been ordered, you may still be struggling with exercising your rights. If you have been denied your time sharing rights you can petition the courts to hold the other parent in contempt of court. You may also wish to consider petition the courts for additional time sharing. Modifying time sharing can be difficult, but if you can prove that there has been a substantial change, the courts may opt to make time sharing modifications that will be in the best interest of the child or children. If you are looking for an experienced child custody lawyer in Hudson Florida who is knowledgeable in Florida time sharing statutes, Florida divorce statutes and child custody statutes, contact Pasco County family law attorney, Wendy Doyle.