Time-Sharing and Parental Responsibility

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Foster stronger bonds with your children even through divorce.

Divorce or separation puts pressure on everyone involved, most especially the children. Regardless of age, it can be stressful and confusing for them to witness the dissolution of their parent’s marriage—the only way to make it easy for them to navigate these unsettling times is to make their well-being a priority.

Parents have an obligation to provide the stability and structure that their children need to transition to their new family setup. For this reason, the court orders parents to develop effective plans for parental responsibility and time-sharing and develop stronger bonds with their children even after separation.

At Myrthil’s Law, P. A., we believe that parents play an essential role in helping children cope with the effects of divorce. With extensive knowledge of the family court, our skilled attorney helps clients develop a parenting plan that best displays their ability to care for their children as well as promotes children’s welfare and security.

Parenting Plan in Florida

The Florida court recognized that parents do not simply visit their children after separation but spend time with them. As a result, the concept of “custody” has been replaced with two separate ideas—parental responsibility and time-sharing. This approach aims to involve both parents in the legal aspects of dissolution with children.

No matter how challenging it is for separated parents to reach a consensus on custody matters, the children’s best interest must always dictate how time-sharing and parental responsibility take shape. The court considers numerous factors concerning their well-being, such as:

  • the relationship of both parents after divorce;
  • the relationship of children with their community;
  • the parent’s ability to act on behalf of their children;
  • the parent’s ability to create a safe and stable home environment for their children;
  • the parent’s current medical condition and moral fitness;
  • the children’s preferences, provided they have a certain level of maturity; and
  • whether parents have a history of abuse, violence, neglect, or abandonment.

Once the court has evaluated all these factors and found that both parents are capable of rearing their child, they must submit a parenting plan, including arrangements for:

1. Time-Sharing

Time-sharing schedules created by both parents are vital to maintaining good relationships and communication for children to feel safe and calm despite the uncertainties that divorce brings.

These time-sharing schedules should include which parent is responsible for their child every weekday, weekend, holiday, and summer break. If parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make its own arrangement on behalf of the parents to make the process move smoothly.

While the amount of time with the child is shared equally as possible between parents, many factors can still influence the time-sharing schedule. These include the parent’s residency, the child’s age, the school’s location, and the parent’s profession.

2. Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility defines which parent decides on the important matters concerning their child. Some of these matters include education, health, and religion. In Florida, parents are encouraged to have an equal share of responsibilities with their children after divorce. However, this does not always work for some families. There are three basic arrangements for parental responsibility in Florida. These are:

a. Shared Parental Responsibility

This arrangement allows both parents to have equal rights in the decision-making pertaining to their child’s life. Parents are jointly responsible for making decisions and must be equally active in caring for and supporting their children.

b. Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority

If both parents don’t reach an agreement, the court can give ultimate decision-making authority to one of the parents in special circumstances. This means that one parent has the final say on decisions for specific areas in the child’s life.

c. Sole Parental Responsibility

If shared parental responsibility is not in the children’s best interest and is found to pose a risk to their welfare, one parent may be granted sole parental responsibility. This parent can make decisions on behalf of the child without consulting the other parent.

Many factors determine whether shared responsibility can be detrimental to the child. One of the reasons that the court issues sole custody is when one of the parents has a history of child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

In such cases, a more detailed parenting plan may need to be developed, or parental responsibility may be granted to a single parent with limited or restricted time-sharing rights.

How Myrthil's Law, P. A.
Can Help

Although your family structure is changing due to some unwanted scenarios, one value will still hold true—your children come first. At Myrthil’s Law, P. A., our dedicated family law attorney develops legal strategies that prioritize children’s emotional development and overall well-being.

Our team understands the consequential and complicated realities of child custody litigation, and we are here to help families navigate these complexities. With our proven expertise in the field, we help parents come up with the most favorable agreement that protects their rights and their children’s future.

A happy couple with their child consults their family lawyer inside a law firm.

Contact Us Today

Partner with an experienced family law attorney who can help you craft a parenting plan that reflects your children’s needs. Myrthil’s Law, P. A. provides exceptional legal solutions to help you and your children successfully navigate divorce. For inquiries regarding our services, call our team today.