If you are facing a divorce, you may have to consider a time-sharing schedule, as Florida prefers shared parenting to over the concept of custody. A Florida shared parenting plan typically divides the responsibility of parenting to both parents if both demonstrate the ability and willingness to act in the interest of the minor children. If you have a dispute with your co-parent or questions about your joint custody schedule, contact a child custody lawyer who can guide you through the process and inform you of options.
What is a Time-Sharing Schedule?
Florida has converted from a “custody-centric” to shared parenting. A time-sharing schedule grants both parents the rights to spend time with their children as agreed upon. In this way, there is no custodial parent, giving each parent frequent and continual contact with the children. While the goal of a shared parenting agreement is to maximize the time between each parent, not all co-parents can determine an agreeable arrangement. If you have trouble agreeing with your child’s mother or father, the court considers several factors when determining a shared parenting schedule.
Factors Affecting a Time-Sharing Agreement
Florida Statute 61.13 outlines the laws regarding time-sharing schedules and co-parenting. The statute has set forth many stipulations that affect the common custody schedules of parents seeking more time with their children. The primary consideration of common custody schedules relies heavily on the best interest of the minor child.
The factors that affect a time-sharing schedule include:
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to facilitate a close relationship with the child, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to allow for changes in the schedule within reason
- Being able to agreeably divide the responsibilities of parenthood between each parent and to a third party if necessary.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to act in the interest of the child, despite the parent’s own needs or desires.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment, and the need to maintain continuity.
- The viability of a shared parenting plan regarding the geographic location of each parent with the time in travel a consideration for school children.
- The moral fitness of each parent.
- The mental and physical wellness of each parent.
- The home, school, and community record of the child.
- The preference of the child if the court decides the child has sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to relay his or her preference.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to actively know things about the child, such as his or her friends, teachers, healthcare providers, and favorite things.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline and daily routines including homework, meals, and bedtime.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to communicate with the other parent, informing them of issues and activities regarding the child, as well as the willingness to join in a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
- Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect. If there were prior or pending actions for the preceding, the court must acknowledge in writing that these were considered concerning the best interest of the child.
- Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided the court with false information regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
- The tasks typically performed by each parent and the division of these duties before litigation, including how and when a third party may handle these duties when necessary.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to actively participate in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to maintain an environment free of substance abuse.
- The capacity and willingness of each parent to protect the child form ongoing litigation by not discussing it with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and not making disparaging comments to the child about the other parent.
- The developmental stages and needs of the child, as well as the demonstrated capacity of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs.
- Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule.
There are other stipulations to consider as well. For instance, a parent who must receive child support as a stipulation of the agreement cannot refuse to honor the shared custody schedule. Violating the shared parenting agreement can result in losing time with your child, having to pay for court costs and attorney fees, and mandatory attendance to a parenting course. Other disciplinary actions for violating your shared parenting plan include community service, and modifications the schedule.
If you need help devising a Florida standard visitation schedule or need answers regarding your time-sharing schedule, contact a child custody lawyer today. Our legal team is ready to fight for your rights as a parent. Get now for a consultation.