When you have children with your spouse, you will likely still see plenty of your ex after your divorce because you’ll both have to spend time with the children. Thankfully, there will be structure and rules related to your shared parental responsibilities during and after your divorce.
The Florida family courts often create parenting plans that involve timesharing. Timesharing is essentially what people refer to as shared physical custody in other states. It involves both parents being responsible for their children some of the time.
The courts divide parenting time between former spouses in a way that they feel is in the best interests of the children. Understanding how the courts make decisions about timesharing can help you better strategize for the best outcome in your pending divorce.
The courts know that parenting plans are not a one-size-fits-all solution
Although there is standard paperwork used to submit a parenting plan to the Florida family courts, that does not mean that every parenting plan is a carbon copy of all the others in the state. Divorcing spouses who are able to work together to set their own terms are able to make their parenting plan as detailed and comprehensive as they want it to be so that it reflects their family’s needs. For example, you could ask for parenting time on days when your children have sports practice near your home.
Even the courts will include substantial detail in their plans if they are the ones who must make the ultimate decisions because the parents are struggling to agree on terms. The courts look at factors such as the schedules of the parents, the relationships they have with the children, ages of the children, and possibly the desires or the requests of the children if they are mature enough to have a say.
You may have to push for more parenting time by making your wishes clear
Although the courts do presume that parents will typically engage in timesharing with their children, that doesn’t mean that they enforce a 50-50 split of parenting time. In fact, one parent could wind up with substantially more time than the other.
The courts tend to divide time by sleepovers or nights. Asking for as much time as is reasonable in your divorce is important, as it shows the court that you intend to show up and play a role in the life of the children. Talking about your wishes now can help you formulate a strategy to maximize parenting time with your children.