Divorcing parents may find it difficult to give up some of their own quality time with their children just so the child can spend time with his or her other parent. However, in situations where a child has two loving, stable parents, it is typically in the best interest of the child to have both parents involved in the child’s life.
In Florida, divorcing parents will have to come up with a time-sharing agreement to divide up their time with the child. The three types of time-sharing include:
- Majority time-sharing – One parent is the primary residential parent and has over 50 percent of the overnight visits with the child.
- Equal time-sharing – Overnight visits with the child are split 50-50 between the parents.
- Supervised time-sharing – A third person must be present for all visits with the child to provide supervision. This is typically reserved for situations where there is a history of abuse, neglect, or drug/alcohol abuse.
Creating a time-sharing plan
Under Fla. Stat. Sec. 61.13, courts will not approve a parenting plan that does not include the essential details of the family’s time-sharing arrangement. A parenting plan should:
- Include information on how the parents will share responsibility of the daily tasks related to raising the child.
- Provide time-sharing details, specifying when and where the child will spend time with each parent.
- Specify which parent oversees the child’s healthcare, schooling, and other activities.
- Specify how each parent will communicate with the child.
Ideally, both parents will work together to come up with a time-sharing agreement that is in the best interest of their child. However, if parents are unable to come to an understanding, the court will step in and make the final decision. A family law attorney can also be helpful in coming up with a plan that works for your family, while prioritizing your child’s needs.