We do not have to tell you, divorce is a complex journey and when children are involved, the process becomes even more intricate. Determining child time sharing arrangements, formerly known as custody and visitation, is a critical aspect of divorce proceedings. If you are going through a divorce in Florida, here are seven essential considerations to keep in mind when it comes to child time sharing.
1. Best Interests of the Child. The overarching principle in child time sharing decisions in Florida is the best interests of the child. Courts prioritize the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental well-being when determining time sharing arrangements.
2. Parenting Plan. Florida law requires divorcing parents to create a parenting plan that outlines how they will share time and responsibilities for their child. This plan covers daily routines, holidays, vacations, communication, decision-making, and more.
3. Equal Time Sharing Presumption. Florida law encourages shared parenting responsibilities and often starts with the presumption that equal time sharing between parents is in the child’s best interests. However, this presumption can be rebutted based on specific circumstances.
4. Child’s Preferences. As children get older, their preferences may carry more weight in court. While the child’s opinion is considered, it is not the sole determining factor. Judges evaluate the child’s maturity and ability to express a reasoned preference.
5. Geographic Considerations. The location of each parent’s residence plays a significant role in time sharing arrangements. Practical considerations such as school location, extracurricular activities, and proximity to friends and family are taken into account.
6. Parental Communication. A cooperative relationship between parents is vital for successful time sharing. Courts assess the ability of parents to communicate and collaborate effectively on important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.
7. Modifications and Enforcement. Child time sharing arrangements are not set in stone. As circumstances change over time, modifications may be necessary. If one parent consistently fails to comply with the established plan, enforcement measures can be pursued.
Navigating child time sharing during a Florida divorce requires careful consideration of various factors, all centered around the best interests of the child. Consulting with an experienced Florida family law attorney can provide you with the guidance needed to make informed decisions that promote your child’s well-being and create a stable environment as they adjust to the changes brought about by the divorce. By understanding these seven key considerations, you can work towards a child-centered time sharing arrangement that promotes a positive future for your child and ensures their emotional and physical needs are met.
We understand that you may have many questions about divorce. At the Law Offices of Suzanne St. Luce, P.A., our staff is qualified to offer a wide range of legal services. Our attorney has over 20 years of experience and we want to help you with your case. We take all cases… Personally. Please contact us for questions related to your specific situation.