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What is Time-Sharing in Florida?

When a relationship ends, determining how best to continue raising children is an essential part of the separation or divorce process. For parents in Florida, this often involves navigating the concept of time-sharing, which is an essential aspect of the state’s family law system.

You might need to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the fundamental principles of time-sharing in Florida to ensure that you protect your rights as a parent. Our Brandon child custody/time-sharing attorneys at Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., help parents protect their rights to custody after separation or divorce.

What is Parental Time-Sharing in Florida?

Time-sharing is a relatively new concept in Florida family law, having replaced the traditional terms of child custody and visitation in 2008. With the introduction of these changes, Florida lawmakers aimed to de-emphasize the idea of one parent having “primary custody” while the other parent has limited “visitation” rights.

Time-sharing emphasizes that both parents should be actively involved in their child’s life and share the responsibilities of raising their child, even if their relationship has ended. Essentially, time-sharing allows each parent to spend a certain amount of time with their child while ensuring that both parents stay engaged in the decision-making process for the child’s best interest.

Is There a Difference Between Time-Sharing and Child Custody?

Although time-sharing and child custody may seem similar, they have some critical differences. While the concept of custody often implies that one parent has more authority over the child than the other, time-sharing aims to grant both parents’ equal decision-making power. This allows both parents to participate in decisions related to their child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.

Furthermore, time-sharing replaces the traditional visitation rights often associated with child custody. Instead of one parent having set visitation days, time-sharing allows for a more flexible and predictable schedule that brings stability and structure to the child’s life.

How Does Time-Sharing Work in Florida?

In Florida, the courts will usually develop a time-sharing schedule that is determined by considering several factors, including each parent’s ability to provide for the child, their history of caring for the child, and their ability to get along with each other. To create a successful time-sharing arrangement, both parents should be ready to work together and be flexible in adjusting their schedules to suit the needs of their child.

Florida Time-Sharing Schedule Guidelines

While each time-sharing schedule is unique and tailored to fit the family’s situation, some standard guidelines can help parents establish an effective arrangement. Some factors that may influence a time-sharing schedule include the child’s age, the distance between the parents’ homes, and each parent’s work schedule.

Ideally, a time-sharing schedule will allow the child to maintain a close and continuing relationship with both parents, minimize disruptions to their daily routine, and provide stability by ensuring that the child knows when they’ll be spending time with each parent. Commonly used time-sharing schedules include alternating weekends, split weeks, or even a month-by-month arrangement.

Note: Florida Statutes § 409.25633 includes a standard parenting time plan that can be adjusted based on the unique circumstances in your case.

Discuss Time-Sharing With Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A.

Understanding time-sharing in Florida is crucial for parents going through a separation or divorce. Being prepared to work together, maintain open communication, and adjust to potentially shifting circumstances when necessary, will ultimately help create a successful and effective time-sharing arrangement for the entire family. Schedule a free case evaluation with our attorneys at Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A., to learn more about the concept of time-sharing. Call 813-305-0682 today.