On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Child custody, or time-sharing, in Florida, is one of the trickiest aspects of any divorce involving children. Properties and assets come and go, but a time-sharing and parent visitation plan in your divorce are here to stay until your children turn 18.
Some parents end up banging their head against a brick wall when trying to get to the bottom of how Florida courts determine child custody and time-sharing in a divorce. You may have heard it numerous times that family courts prioritize the child’s best interests when determining to time-share, but what does it even mean?!
12 Factors That Influence Time-Sharing Decisions in Florida
We brought our Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney from The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., to explain how courts in Florida make decisions regarding child custody. Or, in other words, what factors influence child custody decisions in Florida?
Quite a few of them, it appears. When determining what specific schedule and division of parenting time a divorcing couple should get after a divorce, a court in Florida will take into consideration the following factors:
- The ability of each parent to facilitate parent-child relationships and respect the court-ordered time-sharing schedules. In the best interests of their child, parents must be capable of working together to facilitate not only their own relationship with the child but also encourage a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent.
- How will each parent and third parties divide parental responsibilities? In that regard, the court will consider each parent’s work schedules and how likely each parent is to delegate his/her parental responsibilities to third parties such as grandparents or daycare nurses.
- The ability of each parent to make decisions and act in the best interests of their children. A parent must be able to put his/her differences with the other parent aside and put his/her child first at all times.
- The environment in which the child has lived before the divorce (and whether that environment can or cannot be continued when spending time with each parent after the divorce).
- The geographic location of each parent and the proximity of each parent to the child’s school (or future school).
- How each parent is or is not morally fit to raise the child (ability to show a good example, the existence of substance abuse, or any other addictions or problems that may negatively impact the child).
- Mental and physical health of each parent. Whether or not each parent is mentally and physically fit to take care of the child (this may require physical and psychological evaluations by medical professionals).
- The child’s current behavior at home, school, and in the community (and how that behavior might change when the child is alone with each parent).
- The preferences of the child. Our experienced time-sharing lawyer in Fort Lauderdale explains that when the child is deemed “mature” enough to be capable of reasonably assessing the situation and being aware of what is going on, his or her preferences will be taken into account as well.
- Knowledge, capacity, and willingness of each parent to stay up to date with the child’s circumstances. Each parent must be engaged in and have a good understanding of the child’s life, social interests, daily activities, plans for education and future, friends, and other important circumstances.
- The ability of each parent to communicate with the other parent in a healthy manner without confrontations and conflicts and their willingness to cooperate together as a team.
- Evidence, or lack thereof, of domestic abuse, child abuse, or child neglect. Any of these will definitely affect how much time, if any, the abuser is allowed to spend with his/her child.
These and many other factors will influence a time-sharing decision in your divorce. If you want to find out more, get a free consultation from our Fort Lauderdale time sharing attorney at The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., Call at 954-533-2756 or fill out this contact form today.