Frequently Asked Questions About Time Sharing In Florida
The Florida Statutes have not referred to parenting time as “child custody” or “visitation” in over a decade. Today, these terms have been replaced with “time sharing” and “parental responsibility.” The change is meant to reflect the fact that, except for in extreme situations, it is in the best interests of any child to spend time with both of their parents.
The change in legal terminology has confused some parents, while others have different questions about other aspects of time sharing. Below, our Orlando child custody and time sharing lawyer outlines some of the questions we hear most often, and the answers to them.
What are the Different Types of Time Sharing in Orlando?
Time sharing disputes can be resolved in a number of different ways. These are as follows:
- Equitable time sharing: The courts in Orlando, and throughout Florida, will always try to award equal time sharing to each parent. Equal time sharing means the child will spend half of their time with one parent and the other half with the other. In this scenario, children will sometimes alternate homes every week, or the two parents can agree to another arrangement that is more suitable for them.
- Majority time sharing: Equitable time sharing is not always practical, particularly when the two parents live a significant distance away from each other. When a child spends the majority of their time with one parent, and uses that address for school and other purposes, that parent is considered to have majority time sharing.
- Supervised time sharing: Supervised time sharing is used only in extreme situations, such as when there is a history of domestic violence. During supervised time sharing, one parent will have the right to spend time with their child but another adult will supervise the visit.
What is Parental Responsibility?
The term ‘parental responsibility’ has replaced the term ‘legal custody’ in the Florida Statutes. Parental responsibility refers to the parent who has the authority to make important decisions for the child, such as the education, religion, and health care they receive. Like time sharing, the courts presume it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to have equal parental responsibility. Still, in extreme cases, the court may award sole parental responsibility.
How Does the Court Make Decisions on Time Sharing and Parental Responsibility?
When making decisions on time sharing and parental responsibility, the courts will only consider what is in the child’s best interests. The Florida Statutes outline 19 different factors regarding what is in a child’s best interests. The courts will compare the specific circumstances of any case to these factors when making decisions about time sharing and parental responsibility.
Do I Need a Child Custody and Time Sharing Lawyer in Orlando for My Case?
The answer to this is always a resounding yes. You are not required to work with an Orlando child custody and time sharing lawyer to resolve your dispute, but doing so will help ensure you receive the best possible outcome. At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our skilled attorneys can provide the sound legal representation you need and give you the best chance of success with your case. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.