The legal system can be difficult to navigate, especially when you are in an issue that affects the care and wellbeing of children. To add to all the emotional distress that you will be under throughout the process, the legal jargon that defines an adult’s relationship with the child, as well as their responsibilities, may be too much to handle.
While the term ‘timesharing’ is familiar, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the mechanics of timesharing and how it is applied in courts. To get a better idea of what you are dealing with, let’s define this legal term in layman’s terms.
In Florida, public policy mandates that all minor children have frequent and consistent contact with both parents. This is done in the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
Under this definition, parental responsibility for a minor child will always be shared between both parents. The only exception to this rule is if the county finds that it would be detrimental to the child.
Types of timesharing
There are three common types of timesharing in Florida: majority timesharing, shared timesharing, and supervised timesharing.
Majority timesharing is when one parent has more overnights with the child than the other parent during the year. This parent is called the primary residential parent. For example, the primary residential parent would have the child four days a week, while the second parent has the child every other weekend. Celebration of the holidays would be split between each.
Shared timesharing is when the two parents have an equal number of overnights in one year. The child alternates between parents every week and gives the child the opportunity to have equal contact with both their mother and father.
Supervised timesharing rarely happens and only in extreme cases. It is usually bestowed in allegations or previous instances of violence, neglect, or abuse. Due to the severity of these situations, a judge may decide that a third person should be present for any visits between a parent and their child.
How timesharing is determined
A judge makes their decision on parental responsibility and timesharing through a long list of factors. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The capacity of each parent to maintain a good parent-child relationship, honor the time-sharing schedule and be reasonable when changes need to happen
- The capacity of each parent to be involved in the child’s academics
- The capacity of each parent to maintain an environment free of substance abuse for the child
- The division of parental responsibilities, and the extent to which certain parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties
- The feasibility of the parenting plan, particularly with the needs of school-age children and the time spent traveling to implement the parenting plan in mind
- The physical and mental health, as well as the moral fitness, of the child
Dealing with timesharing issues in a legal case can become complicated. After all, a judge needs to consider a wide variety of factors before they can make their decision. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know that you do not have to face this alone.
Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A. is a law firm in Jacksonville, Florida, with a team of experienced attorneys who can guide you through the legal and emotional needs of your case. We will aggressively pursue the best courses of action in pursuing your interest. Contact us today ts schedule a free consultation with us to see how we can help!