Parenting Plan and Timesharing
Florida law provides that a court order must provide that parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. If there is evidence that a parent has been convicted of domestic violence, the court may consider this as detriment to the child.
In an effort to eliminate nasty custody disputes the term "custody" no longer exists in Florida law as of October 1, 2008. The term " primary residential or custodial parent"no longer exists in Florida law. The parents cannot fight over what does not exist. Even though the primary residential parent designation no longer exists, equal time sharing is not presumed or mandated. All matters relating to parenting and time sharing are always determined based upon the best interests of the child.
The Shared Parental Responsibility Act now requires parents to develop a parenting plan which contains a detailed analysis of their co-parenting relationship. In creating the plan there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating the parenting plan. The legal definition of "shared parental responsibility" remains "a court ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to the child in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly".
If appropriate the court may grant that one parent have ultimate responsibility where both parents are unable to agree concerning a major decision. For example, if both parents cannot agree to which school a child should attend, the court may grant ultimate responsibility for making educational decisions.The court may not grant blanket authority to one parent to make ultimate decisions unless agreed to by the parents.
It is important for the parents to remember that the focus is the best interest of the child, not the needs or interests of the parents, to have two parents actively involved and the child's welfare and upbringing as they determine, will be in the child's best interest.Time Sharing
The parenting plan must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and the child. A time-sharing schedule may be agreed to by the parents or the approval of the court. Overnight visitation is a very important part of the time-sharing schedule. The court will require overnight visitation unless there is an overriding concern for the child's safety. The court may not deny overnight visitation to the noncustodial parent solely because of the age and sex of the child. The court will routinely allow rotating holiday time sharing and religious holidays where appropriate.Contact a West Palm Beach parenting plan and time sharing attorney.
It is very important in a divorce or paternity case that a well thought out parenting plan be established with a workable time sharing schedule. For more information about parenting plans and time sharing schedules, please call an experienced West Palm Beach parenting plan and time sharing attorney at 561-833-2772 or contact us online for a free consultation.