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Parental Timesharing

Specifics of PARENTAL TIMESHARING law
Home > Parental Timesharing

Parental Timesharing

In 2008 when Florida statute 61, which governs divorce or dissolution of marriage, was greatly modified the terms concerning child custody issues were changed to eliminate the confusion of definitions surrounding the care, residency, visitation and decision making for minor children. The term parental timesharing now replaces the terms custody and visitation. It is most important to understand that the state of Florida strongly emphasizes the concept “In the best interest of the child”. In fact the court is admonished to consider a list of 20 mandated guidelines, more in certain individual cases, when setting up a parenting plan including parental timesharing and decision making for minor children and children with special needs beyond the age of l8. It is also important to know about the way the court now views time a child/children spend with each parent. This concept is called overnights.

What are the 20 guidelines Florida Statute 61.13 (3) has mandated?

The following 20 guidelines have been paraphrased to make them easier for you to understand. Keep in mind these are considered in the light of what is best for the child.

  • Demonstrated ability to carry out a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to respect the time-sharing schedule, and understand when changes are required.
  • Expected division of parental responsibilities following the final judgment including amount of time a third party such as grandparent or child care person(s) will be involved.
  • Demonstrated ability of each parent to consider the best interests of the child before their own desires or needs
  • How long the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the advisability of the situation continuing.
  • How best to create a parenting plan where travel time to accomplish visitations takes into school age children and the very young.
  • Parent’s moral behavior
  • Parent’s mental and physical health
  • How the child has performed at home, at school, and in the community.
  • The reasonable preference of the child who has sufficient knowledge, intelligence and understanding to make a choice.
  • Demonstrated knowledge to know about child’s surroundings such as friends, activities, and favorite things.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide a consistent framework for routines such as discipline, homework, meals, and bedtime.
  • Demonstrated ability of each parent to communicate willingly and respectively with each other and present a unified front on all major issues concerning the child.
  • Evidence of domestic or sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or neglect in prior or pending actions.
  • Evidence either party has given false information for activities in section (m).
  • Parenting tasks being carried out pretrial, which will be carried out post trial by each parent and any involved third party.
  • Demonstrated involvement with child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • Each parent demonstrates the ability to keep the child’s environment free from substance abuse.
  • Proof each parent will not discuss case proceedings with the child or show any paper work regarding child custody. Additionally each parent agree not speak unkindly about the other parent to the child.
  • Demonstrated knowledge by each parent as to the developmental stages and subsequent needs of the child.
  • Any other factor that is important to the creating of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule.

As one can easily see, it is highly unlikely an individual untrained in developing a parenting plan would be able to prepare a plan and present evidence and witnesses for each of the above 20 guidelines (more in some individual cases) to be followed when the court determines what is best for a child regarding parental timesharing and decision making. A Family Law attorney, an attorney trained and experienced in Timesharing law in Florida is essential to be sure you and your child/children receive the best outcome possible. Attorney Gisondo is well qualified and experienced in helping clients gain the best possible results when it comes to the best interests of their children.

What is an “overnight” as it pertains to developing a plan for parental timesharing?

In addition to the 20 guidelines the amount of time each parent will be given in the final parent plan developed and/or approved by a judge is largely determined on a concept known as “overnights”. This means the number of nights a child regularly spends with his/her parent or legal guardian. Spending a whole day say from 6 AM to 10 PM does not count as an overnight but spending the night, say from 10 PM to 6 AM does. When deciding what times a parent will have with their child and where these times will be is largely dependent on how many overnights the parent and child have spent together in the past and how many will be reasonable in the future following the dissolution of marriage. It is interesting to note that the number of overnights also heavily influences the amount of child support awarded.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Since timesharing is such an integral part of a parenting plan it is important to understand what a parenting plan is designed to do. Ideally it should provide each parent and each child an opportunity to spend quality time together while ensuring that decisions for the children’s medical, educational, religious, and discipline are made with the best interests of the children in mind. And, in addition to the requirements outlined in a parenting plan, in Florida, before a dissolution of marriage involving children can take place each parent must take a Florida certified parenting class. This class is specifically designed to help parents better understand what children will experience and how to best parent during and following a divorce. As time goes on, if the plan is not working for a significant reason, the court can make modifications to rectify what needs changing.

What should I do to make sure I get the best timesharing resolution possible?

Without question, the areas of where your child will live, who your child will live with and when, and who will make decisions for medical, educational, religious, and disciplinary concerns are a vital part of the final decree for a dissolution of marriage involving children. Attorney Gisondo can and will give your case his experienced, knowledgeable, and personal attention. To find out how he can be of service to you and to answer any questions or concerns you might have, call his office at (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment for a free, initial, in-office consultation. In Mr. Gisondo’s words, from part of his mission statement, “…I provide clients going through a tough time with a light at the end of a tunnel…”.

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