When it comes to Florida divorce and children, the state has gone away with the term “custody”. No longer are there a primary residential parent and a secondary residential parent. Instead, courts call for timesharing and parental responsibility, all with the best interest of the child in mind.
In short, timesharing is the actual time that is spent with each parent. Typically a schedule is created that outlines the days, holidays, hours, etc. that the child will spend with each parent. In addition to that scheduling aspect of Florida’s parenting plan, parental responsibility is addressed as well. Parental responsibility is the decision-making ability each parent has in significant areas of the child’s life such as education, religion, and school. Typically the manor in which these decisions are carried out is decided beforehand, i.e. over email, over the phone, in-person, etc.
Due to these changes, Florida divorce has become a shining example of placing the child’s best interest at the heart of the situation, something that all parents should hope for in the event of a divorce. No longer is there a tender years doctrine that favors the mother over the father. Rather the appropriate schedule and plan is created with the child’s best interest in mind by determining each of the parent’s willingness to participate and the parent’s behavior.
Examples of behavior that typically lead to equal timesharing include, involvement in many aspects of the child’s life, flexibility with the other parent when appropriate, proper provisions, and a maintained schedule. Examples of behaviors that might lead to limited timesharing or even complete lack of time sharing include untreated mental health issues, drug or alcohol addictions, and/or the parent has violently harmed or neglected their children or the other parent.
In the end, if it is at all possible, and if it is best for the child, Florida recognizes the benefits of always striving for co-parenting. In fact, Florida time-sharing statue – section 61.13(2)(c)(1) states the following:
“It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.”
If you are facing a divorce, and need someone to not only fight for you but for the best interest of your child, contact Roy & Associates, P.A. to talk with one of our experienced Florida divorce attorneys. Call now, (561) 729-0095.
The article above is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney.