Divorce is difficult for anyone who goes through it. But as a parent, you may find it particularly challenging. You and your spouse likely have differences about time-sharing, and you may fear that you will end up with limited access to your children. By understanding Florida’s time-sharing laws, you can take steps to protect your parenting rights.
Florida’s time-sharing laws
During divorce proceedings, you and your spouse will create a time-sharing schedule as part of your parenting plan. While you may be able to work one out together, a judge may have to set its terms if you cannot get on the same page. In this case, they will consider your children’s best interests when making their decisions. Factors they may weigh include:
- You and your spouse’s anticipated share of parental responsibilities
- You and your spouse’s ability to follow the time-sharing schedule
- You and your spouse’s ability to provide a consistent routine for your children
- You and your spouse’s ability to communicate with each other about your children
- You and your spouse’s willingness to honor and foster your children’s relationship with the other parent
- You and your spouse’s proximity of residence
- You and your spouse’s physical health, mental health and morality
If your children are of a certain age or maturity, the judge will consider their wishes when determining a time-sharing schedule as well. And if you or your spouse have a history of abuse, neglect or domestic violence, these could limit access to your children. In extreme cases, they may cause you to lose time-sharing rights altogether.
Establishing an arrangement
Unless you or your spouse’s presence in your children’s lives would harm them, you will both receive time-sharing rights after your divorce. While this division may not be equal, it will likely be equitable. If you have concerns about it, a family law professional can help you work toward a fair solution.