During a divorce, timesharing (child custody and visitation) issues are often the most difficult to amicably resolve. Even if both parents agree on a preferred parenting plan, they still need court approval before they can make that plan legally enforceable and follow through with it.
If you and your child’s other parent do not agree on a custody plan, having representation from a Boca Raton timeshare (child custody/visitation) lawyer could be crucial in protecting your rights and your child’s interests. Throughout all proceedings dealing with timesharing (child custody/visitation), a dedicated family attorney could help you advocate for the outcome you desire and which is in the best interest of your child.
What Is Covered in a “Parenting Plan”?
Courts in Florida set out rules and expectations for timeshare (child custody and visitation) shared between separated parents through a “parenting plan.” This plan primarily establishes whether the parents will share decision-making responsibilities for and timesharing rights over their child, or whether one parent will have ultimate timesharing. Then, the plan goes into specific detail about how those parental rights and responsibilities and rights will be split in a practical sense, such as what days each parent will have timeshare (child custody /visitation), how and where swaps between parents will occur, and how to manage the child’s healthcare needs, education, and extracurricular activities.
Various arrangements are possible depending on each family’s unique circumstances. For example, parents that have similar work schedules and equal timesharing rights may simply participate in timesharing on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Other parents may split timeshare by weekends, holidays, or so each parent has custody for half of each calendar week. A Boca Raton timeshare (child custody/visitation) attorney could provide crucial help pursuing a specific arrangement that best suits each parent’s preferences, while also prioritizing the child’s interests.
What a Court Considers When Establishing Parenting Plans
If both parents jointly draft and agree upon a particular parenting plan, they can then submit that plan to the court for approval. The court will almost always approve a parenting plan that was reached through mutual agreement, unless the proposed arrangement violates state law, or public policy, or the best interest of the child. This generally speeds up divorce proceedings by a substantial degree. If parents disagree on a preferred parenting plan, a court judge will make a final binding decision on how timeshare (child custody/visitation) and parental rights and responsibilities will be divided.
Some judges may operate on a baseline assumption that a child spending roughly equal time with each parent is generally in their best interests. Florida Law still requires that a parent establishes a 50/50 timesharing schedule is in the best interest of the child. That being said, Florida Statutes §61.13(3) lists a number of best interest factors that will be considered when courts are imposing a timesharing (child custody/visitation) schedule, including:
- Where each parent lives and how practical a parenting plan is in geographic terms
- Each parent’s demonstrated capacity to prioritize their child’s needs over their own, foster a healthy parent-child relationship, and follow an established time-sharing schedule
- Each parent’s “moral fitness,” accounting for any past issues with domestic violence, child neglect or abuse, and/or other criminal behavior
- How long the child has lived in a particular environment and/or with a particular child, and what measures would best preserve a stable home life for them
A skilled attorney could be a vital ally when it comes to emphasizing specific factors during timeshare (child custody and visitation) proceedings in Boca Raton.
Get Help from a Boca Raton Timesharing (Child Custody/Visitation) Attorney
Resolving timesharing (child custody/visitation) disputes is far from a simple or straightforward process, especially in situations where you and your child’s other parent are not on amicable terms. Even if you both want the best for your child, seasoned legal representation could be crucial in ensuring the parenting plan you draft together is legally enforceable and sufficiently protects your child’s best interest.
A conversation with a Boca Raton timeshare (child custody/visitation) lawyer could be a key first step towards achieving a positive resolution in your unique situation. Schedule your initial consultation today.