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Five Facts Governing Parental Timesharing In Florida
No longer a state that awards primary custody to one parent and secondary custody to the other parent, Florida Family Court embraces parental timesharing as the best way to provide care and nurturing for minor children following divorce or separation. While it is true sole custody can still be awarded in specific cases where a parent is too ill mentally or physically to care for a child, has been convicted of child abuse or domestic violence, or is proven to be heavily into drugs or alcohol, parental timesharing is the answer for most.
Here are five facts you need to know about parental timesharing in Florida:
1. All parents, biological, or adoptive must enter into parental timesharing for their minor children. Minor children are children from birth to 18 years unless a child has ongoing circumstances disallowing them to care and provide for themselves. Mental or physical challenges are usually the criteria for minor care beyond the age of l8.
2. It doesn’t matter if a couple who created a child has ever been married to each other, lived with each other, or not lived with each other, the couple is considered parents of the minor child and must comply with parental timesharing for the care and nurturing of their child. It is the law.
3. “In the best interest of the child” is the motto of the Florida Family Court, so parents will be expected to arrange their lives to best accommodate the needs of their children. This can mean, for example, relocating a job to be near enough for a regular 50/50 overnight schedule or finding living space with a bed for their child.
4. All major decisions regarding the education, discipline, religion, and medical care of the minor child must be made by both parents together.
5. A parenting plan will be drawn up and must be approved by a judge. This plan will spell out such issues as who cares for the child when a parent can’t?; how will the child be transported between parents?; how will the holidays be divided as to who gets the child when?; and how will extracurricular activities be paid for?
Where minor children are concerned, parents must be prepared to take their timesharing and parenting plan seriously. The mandates found in these documents must be followed regardless of how the parents feel about each other. And when a parent decides not to follow the parenting plan or timesharing schedule, there can be serious consequences. A parent can be held in contempt of court, fined, and sometimes in extreme situations, even ordered to spend time in jail. Children are the reason the world should go on, and Florida Family Court will see to their wellbeing.
Grant J. Gisondo is the founder of Grant J. Gisondo, P.A. to focus his practice on family and marital law with offices in West Palm Beach serving Palm Beach County, Martin County, Saint Lucie County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Hillsborough and Orange County.
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