Child Custody vs. Time Sharing in Florida
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
For the most part, Florida has done away with the concept that one divorced parent or the other has 'custody' of their child. Furthermore, Florida no longer designates a primary residential parent.
Instead, the Court determines first each parent's responsibility, and then calculates the time-sharing that each parent will have with the child.
Time-sharing simply means the time (days, weekends, holidays) the child will spend with each parent.
Parental responsibility means which parent makes significant decisions such as the child's religion or schooling.
Florida law clearly states the vital importance of the child having a relationship with each parent. Florida Statute Section 61.13(2)(c)(1), the time-sharing statute, says: "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.”
This statute establishes a presumption that the child should spend time with both parents.
How does the Court determine this? The final decision regarding time-sharing is based on the best interests of the child.
However, when the Court finds that there is substance abuse, domestic violence, or other important factors, it can and will restrict the parent from contact with the child, require supervised visitation, go so far as to prohibit parental contact with the child.
Are you concerned that your child is near substance abuse or domestic violence while with the other parent? Is the other parent unwilling to make reasonable, joint decisions with you regarding your child? If so, call today for a free phone consultation to speak with a family law attorney in Stuart, Florida.