After the dissolution of a marriage, it’s important to keep the needs of any affected minor children in mind since this is the main factor in custody determinations in Florida. While Florida law hasn’t used the term “custody” since 2011, timesharing is roughly the same idea. After following a timesharing schedule for some time, you or the other parent may find that it simply isn’t working for one – or both – of you. A modification will allow you to make necessary changes.
When a Timesharing Modification is Necessary
There are several reasons that a timesharing change might be necessary, including:
- A change in one parent’s work schedule that prevents them from sticking to the current schedule
- Differences in a child’s preferences
- A physical move that makes frequent handoffs difficult
- Changes in a child’s school schedule or extra-curricular’s
- One parent being unable to care for the child due to illness
Even if you and the other parent agree completely on a new schedule, it’s essential to get everything in writing and filed with the courts. Handshake agreements can be difficult to prove or enforce, and legal modification of a timesharing schedule protects everyone involved.
Planning for Everything in a Timesharing Modification Schedule
Whether you and the other parent have the same timesharing modification goals or you don’t currently see eye-to-eye on what’s best for your minor children, every situation must be accounted for. The residential schedule should outline a basic timesharing agreement that accounts for a child’s location each day of the week. You must also include a holiday schedule that designates who the child will be with during each holiday. And the summer break timesharing agreement should specify where a school-age child will spend summer vacations.
Generally, the court prefers that both parents agree on a schedule. Parents who are on the same page often co-parent more effectively, which has been proven to be beneficial for minor children. Most timesharing modification agreements keep all of the children in a family together, rather than splitting up the time that each child spends with each parent. In the event that parents cannot agree on a schedule, the court will come up with one that aligns with the best interests of the child.
Sole Parental Responsibility in Florida
Some parents pursue a timesharing modification because they hope to obtain sole custody, which is commonly referred to as sole parental responsibility in Florida. Doing so is very difficult, however, since state law favors 50/50 timesharing. If 50/50 timesharing is not an option, the court still prefers that children spend meaningful stretches of time with both parents. If you are seeking sole parental responsibility, you must have a plan and concrete proof that ongoing contact with the other parent is not in the child’s best interest. In some cases, the court may prefer restricted overnight visits, supervised visitation, or decision-making authority for one parent if the other parent is unsuitable.
Protect Your Parenting Rights with an Experienced Family Lawyer
When it comes to your children and the time you get with them, it’s important to have high quality legal representation. If you’re ready to pursue a timesharing modification, contact Carolan Family Law Firm at (305) 358-2330.