If you’re considering filing for divorce, your children are probably your primary concern. Once you file the petition, who gets the kids? How does timesharing work, and whose home will become the primary residence for your little ones? These are common questions, as timesharing is far from straightforward.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Timesharing?
The timesharing schedule is part of the parenting plan you’ll draw up in your divorce documents. This document explains where the children live as their primary residence, and when they’ll spend time with each parent. While some states call it a “visitation schedule,” the terms are interchangeable.
In Florida, there are two ways to agree on a timesharing plan: you can come to a settlement or simply submit proposed schedules, which will go to trial for the magistrate or judge to decide. Regardless of which course of action you intend to take, it’s essential to hire a divorce lawyer to help you create the document.
While Florida courts stress the importance of timesharing plans that emphasizes “shared parenting” and has the best interests of the children at heart, it can be difficult for divorcing spouses to agree on what this means.
Factors That Impact Timesharing Agreements
As you and your spouse work to decide on a timesharing agreement, these are the factors Flrodia guidelines will require you to consider:
The schedule should:
– minimize disruption and loss for the child.
– ensure the child’s security and stability.
– protect the child from conflict.
– maximize relationships between children and their parents.
– anticipate and plan for changes in circumstances.
As a general rule, the court will order a timesharing plan that allows the child ample time with both parents, as this promotes better academic, emotional, and mental health outcomes for the child. The only exception to this rule is if a safety-focused parenting plan is in place, which applies when visitation must be limited or supervised. In these cases, the court may order no parenting time for one parent.
What Happens if You File for Divorce
Even if you file for divorce, you’ll have to come up with a timesharing plan that works for your family. The custodial parent will typically have primary custody of the children, although Florida timesharing plans emphasize ample time and bonding opportunity with both parents. Again, the exceptions are cases where visitation with one parent may not be safe for the child.
Because there’s no cut-and-dry rule for determining timesharing agreements, it’s essential to hire a family law attorney who can help you decide on a timesharing plan. Here at MGM Law, P.A., we work closely with families to create a safe, child-centric environment that puts the kids first. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to book your consultation.