In a divorce, there are many hard issues to resolve and when children are involved no issue is more difficult than child custody, visitation and time sharing requirements. Many times both parties realize that they are now going to spend less time with their children and that does not sit well with them. However, the State of Florida strongly believes that it is in the best interest of children to have relationships with both their parents if the parents divorce.
In 2008, the Florida Legislature revised the way parents and courts approached custody matters to better serve the children under the creation of Parenting Plans. Parenting Plans were designed to replace the terms previously used in divorce such as custody, visitation and primary resident parent to now encompass a complete plan that is fair for all parties involved.
What is a Parenting Plan or Timesharing Agreement?
A parenting plan is a document developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child, and approved by the court, or if the parents cannot agree, established by the court, which governs the relationship between the parents regarding the child (encompassing “custody”, “parental responsibility”, and “visitation”). A parenting plan may address issues such as the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being, and must include a time-sharing schedule.
For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.
What Factors are Used by Judges to Determine Timesharing in Florida Custody Cases?
If the parents cannot agree to a timesharing plan and parenting plan that provides for the needs and best interests of their child, the court intervenes to set the terms of the plan. Some of the factors a judge considers include:
- The mental/physical health of each parent
- The length of time a child/children have lived at a current residence
- Each parent’s fitness in terms of morals
- How willing each parent is in terms of keeping the other parent informed of children’s activities and interest, honoring a time-sharing schedule, encouraging strong relationship with other parent, and more
- How willing each parent is to place the child/children’s needs over their own desires
- The child’s history in terms of home, school, and community
- The ability of each parent to meet the developmental needs of the children
- The ability of each parent to provide children with a consistent or regular routine in terms of meals, bedtime, homework, etc.
- Whether there is evidence in either parent’s home of drug use, violence, neglect, or abuse
- Depending on the child’s intelligence and maturity, the child’s preference as to which parent he/she will live with
All of these factors that are used to determine timesharing and parenting plans are complex. Our Boca Raton time sharing and custody lawyers thoroughly investigate each element to be a strong advocate for you and your child.
Boca Raton Time Sharing and Child Custody Lawyer
Troy Legal, P.A., founded in 2009, by Samuel R. Troy. The law firm serves clients throughout South Florida focusing almost exclusively in the field of Marital and Family Law.
Mr. Troy’s family practice consists of both complex cases involving affluent business owners, professionals, entertainers and present and former professional athletes, as well as individuals in need of top-notch legal representation at a reasonable rate.
In addition to divorce cases, Mr. Troy’s family law experience extends to the drafting of pre/post-nuptial agreements, adoption matters, domestic violence cases, the drafting of a QDRO, as well as enforcement and modification of child support, alimony and parenting plans. Mr. Troy is certified in Collaborative Law and is also available as a mediator for both represented and pro-se clients.