One of the most important parts of being a Miami family law attorney for me is fighting for a parent’s right to see their children. In Florida, we have what is known as time-sharing, which has replaced the term custody. Time-sharing refers to the time that a child or children spends with each parent, and the time-sharing schedule is set by the court as stated in Florida Statute 61.13.
So, how does the court decide the time-sharing schedule?
The court’s decision is based on several factors, including the ability and desire of each parent to care for the child, the child’s wishes, and anything that could affect the child’s well-being. The court always acts in the best interest of the child. Below are several factors that can affect how the court rules on your time-sharing.
Factors that Affect the Court’s Decision
- How the parents plan to divide responsibility after divorce.
- The stability of each living environment.
- Evidence of misconduct, such as domestic violence, neglect, and child abuse.
- The requirements of the child’s developmental stage and the demonstrated ability of each parent to provide care.
- Geographic distance between households and how it will affect the time-sharing plan.
- The preference of the child in cases where the child shows sufficient understanding of the situation.
- The ability and willingness of each parent to be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
Types of Time-Sharing
There are three primary types of time-sharing in Florida—majority time-sharing, equal time-sharing, and supervised time-sharing. Below, I will explore each of these categories and how divorced parents might implement them. If you have any questions about implementation, contact a Miami family law attorney.
In a majority time-sharing arrangement, one parent has the majority of overnights with the child. The exact division of overnights depends on the situation, but the parent with the majority may have the child for anywhere from 51% of the time to 99% of the time. While Florida law used to designate the parent with the majority as the “primary residential parent,” it no longer recognizes this term.
Parents might consider this time-sharing plan if one parent has less time to care for the child because of work or other obligations. A Miami family law attorney will be able to guide you on this decision.
As the name implies, an equal time-sharing plan attempts to split the number of overnights with the child equally between the parents. Equal time-sharing is less common than other time-sharing plans, but parents who want to split responsibilities equally might want to try it.
The court may decide to grant supervised time-sharing rights to parents who have a history of domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, or unmanaged mental health disorders that put the child at risk. In supervised time-sharing arrangements, a third party is present for visits between parent and child.
Do I Need a Miami Family Law Attorney?
Ultimately, the decision to grant a time-sharing plan lies with the court. However, you can influence the decision with the right evidence. By hiring a Miami family lawyer with the right experience and dedication, you can ensure that your case is as airtight as possible.