20 Factors the Court Considers in Order Timesharing with a Minor Child
In Florida, when it is determined that biological or legally adoptive parents are fit physically, mentally, and have not been convicted of child abuse or domestic violence, or are incarcerated, the care and nurturing of minor children (children birth through eighteen or longer if a child cannot support themselves) will be granted by a timesharing order. There are 20 factors that the court considers when drawing up the timesharing order. These factors are all contained in Florida’s Statute 61:13. The following paraphrase for each factor will help you understand how a judge will look at each timesharing situation.
- Show parents can carry out a close and ongoing relationship with their child and respect the timesharing schedule. And if changes are required to be made to be understanding of this fact.
- Following the final judgment, what will be the anticipated division of parental responsibilities? This division will include how much time a third party such as a child care worker or grandparent will be involved.
- Show how each parent can put their desires and needs aside and consider the best interests of the child.
- Amount of time the child has lived in a satisfactory and stable environment and if the situation can and should continue.
- Consider the best way to draw up a parenting plan that will include travel time for timesharing considering a child’s age from birth to eighteen years.
- Demonstrated moral behavior of the parents
- Assess both the mental and physical condition of each parent.
- How is the child performing at home, in school, and socially in the community?
- Is the child has enough experience and is old enough to make choices regarding his or her future?
- How much does a parent know about their child’s life, such as favorite things, teachers, friends, and activities?
- Is there a framework in place for routines such as homework, meals, bedtime, and discipline?
- Will the parents present a united approach to handling major decisions by communicating respectfully and willingly with each other?
- Are there any pending or prior legal actions regarding child abuse, child neglect, child abandonment, or sexual or domestic violence?
- Evidence is presented that either party has given false information.
- Who is carrying out practical parenting tasks? This can include third-party input.
- They have proven involvement with the child’s school and, if appropriate, extracurricular activities.
- Demonstrated ability to prove each parent can keep substance abuse out of the child’s environment.
- Understand each parent will speak kindly about the other parent in front of the child and will not discuss the case with the child.
- Does a parent understand the needs and developmental stages of the child?
- Any other factor relevant to the development of the parenting plan which will include the timesharing schedule.
You can go online and read Statute 61:13 in its entirety to see in more detail how a judge will view developing a parental timesharing plan. It is important to remember the motto for Florida’s Family Court is “in the best interest of the child.” When closely followed, this guideline will determine how the final outcome for timesharing is ultimately created.