Brandon Child Custody Attorney (Time-Sharing)
When a divorcing couple has minor children together, deciding which parent the kids will live with or how the children will split their time between two different households can be one of the most challenging, emotional and important aspects of the entire divorce process. Florida law favors an arrangement that has both parents playing a significant role in raising the kids, but the courts will not hesitate to grant sole custody to one parent if a shared arrangement is not found to be in the child’s best interests.
At Koether Law, P.A., we understand how important the issue of child custody is to you in your Florida divorce. Brandon child custody attorney Stephanie Koether takes a personal interest in your situation and works to create a solution that meets your and your children’s needs. Whether coming up with a plan cooperatively with your co-parent or litigating a high-conflict child custody dispute in court, count on Koether Law to ably and effectively represent you, advocate for you and your kids, and come up with a time-sharing schedule and parenting plan that fits your needs.
Parenting Plans and Time-Sharing Schedules in Florida
The public policy of the state is for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and to encourage both parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. Florida law doesn’t use traditional terms such as “physical custody” and “legal custody,” but these concepts are alive and well and embedded in terms the statutes do use such as “time-sharing,” “parental responsibility,” and “parenting plans.”
If possible, the best approach is usually for the parents to work together to create a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule that specifies the time the child spends with each parent, how decisions affecting the child will be made, and how the parents will communicate with their children during their non-custodial time, specifying the methods and technologies to be used (phone, texting, FaceTime, email, videoconferencing, etc.). The plan should designate who will be responsible for the child’s health care, school-related matters, and other activities, or how decision-making will be shared.
If the parents can agree on these matters, they’ll submit their agreement to the judge who will review it and turn it into an enforceable court order if it is acceptable. If they can’t agree, the judge will ultimately decide on a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule after holding a hearing and hearing arguments from each side.
Best Interests of the Child
When deciding what sort of parenting arrangement to impose, the court must determine what would be in the best interests of the child. The judge is required to consider all relevant factors, including about 20 factors set out in the law. Some of these factors are:
- Each parent’s demonstrated capacity and disposition to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, honor the time-sharing schedule, and be reasonable when changes are needed
- Each parent’s demonstrated capacity and disposition to put the child’s needs ahead of the parent’s needs or desires
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan and how much time the child would spend traveling
- The moral fitness of the parents
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The reasonable preference of the child, depending on the child’s level of maturity
- How well each parent knows or interacts with the child’s friends, teachers, and medical providers, and how well the parent knows the child’s daily activities and favorite things
- Each parent’s demonstrated capacity and disposition to provide a consistent routine for the child
- Each parent’s demonstrated capacity and disposition to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the child
- Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse or neglect
Brandon child custody lawyer Stephanie Koether is well-versed in all statutory factors and other considerations that might be relevant to the determination of time-sharing and parental responsibility. We work closely with you to prepare a strong case on every relevant factor that will guide the court to rule in a way that respects your interests and the needs of your children.
Koether Law Is Here to Help With Child Custody and Divorce in Brandon
Divorce is never easy, and deciding important matters relating to your kids can be especially difficult. We understand what you are going through and are here by your side with advice, empathy, and knowledgeable legal assistance to make sure you are well-represented when it comes to parenting and time-sharing. For help with child custody and other vital issues in your Florida divorce, call Koether Law in Brandon at 813-347-8193 to discuss your needs and find out how we can help.