Determining child custody and visitation rights can be a bitter battle between two parents – especially in the throes of a divorce.
However, did you know that Florida has removed the terms “custody” and “visitation” from its statutes? What was once known as child “custody” and “visitation” is now referred to as child “timesharing” and “parental responsibility” in Florida.
So, what does it all mean, and how does it apply to your child “custody” proceedings?
Child Timesharing Explained
Child timesharing refers to the schedule that each parent will enjoy the presence of his or her child (or children).
Simply put, child timesharing negotiates when and for how long each parent will have “custody” of the child. For example, some parents might agree on certain weekends and holidays with their children. May be one parent wants his or her child for Thanksgiving, and the other agrees to timesharing for the rest of the holiday season, such as Christmas and New Years.
Such proceedings are worked out in court with the two parents, their respective family law attorneys, and a family court judge.
Parental Responsibility Explained
Parental responsibility dives a little deeper. Parental responsibility determines the major decisions the parents must make on behave of the child.
Such decisions include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical attention.
- Special needs care.
- Religious and spiritual upbringing.
- Extracurricular activities.
Similar to child timesharing, parental responsibilities are determined in the presence of both parents, each of their family law attorneys, and their family court judge.
Determining the Child’s Best Interest
When the court determines child timesharing and parental responsibility, it focuses on the best interest of the child.
Generally, when looking at the best interest of the child, the court takes into consideration factors such as how the parents can:
- Engage in such a way that there remains a continuous relationship between the child and his or her parents; one that honors the timesharing schedule and fosters reasonable action when it’s necessary to make changes.
- Provide for the child’s needs rather than the parents’ needs (or desires).
- Maintain a routine for the child including, but not limited to, daily schedules, health care or special needs arrangements, and discipline.
- Be involved with and participate in their child’s school activities and extracurricular sports, clubs, or other activities.
- Keep a substance abuse-free environment for the child.
Of course, these are just a few of the factors the family law court will consider. It’s always best to hire a skilled family law attorney with experience in parental suits to make sure you accurately and thoroughly present your side.
Family Law Attorneys Help With “Child Custody”
Never enter the courtroom alone. Before you begin your divorce proceedings or “child custody” case, seek the services of an experienced family law attorney.
The Law Offices of Aliette Hernandez Carolan, PA in Miami, Florida can help you with all your paternity action needs, including child timesharing and parental responsibility. Give us a call at (305) 358-2330 or contact us online to set up your consultation.
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