Timesharing and Parental Responsibility of Minor Children

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Your children may be your greatest assets. The thought of being denied the rights of continuing with every day activities as they were before your divorce may be something you just can't fathom. Many questions arise in this subject and we will try to address some of them below.

The court will view the custody, visitation, and child support clauses of your divorce settlement with the utmost scrutiny, because your children are more important than property or money. As parents, you want to look out for your children's best interest.

Legal custody involves the decisions made about childrearing. These decisions will take into account many variables such as religion, education, discipline, and the general well being of your children. Shared Parental Reasonability gives both parents the power to make major child rearing decisions with Sole parental reasonability allocates those major decisions to one parent. The parent who is caring for the child will make basic day-to-day decisions.

Where the child will physically live is determined by which parent has physical custody.

The parenting plan will designate where the child will reside with each parent for a portion of the year. When one parent has more overnight time sharing the children will live with that parent. The other parent is entitled to overnight time sharing as well unless that parent is unfit.

When there is a parenting plan the child will reside with each parent for a portion of the year. When one parent has sole physical custody, the children will live primarily with that parent. The non custodial parent may or may not have visitation rights. We can help you decide on a logical time sharing schedule if your case necessities one. If unable to come to a decision and mediation fails the Court will make decisions for the parent using different schedules for different age groups and other factors. For these reasons mediation is required and if that fails at any time even during the trial the spouse and their lawyers are requested to try to negotiate a settlement. In Florida mediation is required if parties cannot reach an agreement near the beginning of the process but still wish to avoid a conflict in Court.

Having both parents play an active role in a child's life would be the ideal situation and in the child's best interest. However, some feel that constantly moving back and forth between households can be disruptive to a child's development. A balance must be found that works best for your family. The responsibilities and privileges each parent will have with the child can be often outlined in a parenting plan.

If you feel that your spouse poses a danger to your children's health, safety, emotional, or moral well-being, you must display proof of this in order for us to make sure that these occurrences don't continue.

Your divorce is between you and your spouse, not your kids. Your kids aren't divorcing you or your spouse, so they should be able to feel like they can still count on the two of you. If you can minimize conflict between yourself and your spouse, it's usually best for everyone.

Florida Laws on Best Interest of the Child.
61.13(3) When awarding child custody in Florida, the court will consider all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child, including but not limited to: The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.

The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.

The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.

The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child.

The moral fitness of the parents.

The mental and physical health of the parents.

The home, school, and community record of the child.

The reasonable preference of the child as to custody, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child's friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.

The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.

The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt 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, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.

Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.

The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.

The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities.

The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.

The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.

The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition 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 the time-sharing schedule.

Parenting Course in Divorce.
A parenting course is required by Florida laws for all couples with children who obtain a divorce in Florida.

See 2015 Florida Statute on support of children, parenting and time sharing

Contact:
If you face any issues that fall in the categories of our practice -- call 954-234-5422 or contact us by email to schedule a time when we can meet and discuss the details of your situation.

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