Time-sharing and “custody”—a term no longer used in Florida—are the same thing and refer to the number and schedule of overnights that children spend with each parent. In family law proceedings that involve minor children, the parties may agree to a parenting plan or the court may enter a parenting plan. The parenting plan spells out which parent is responsible for each child’s daily tasks, health care, school and other activities. Each parenting plan will also contain a time-sharing schedule that may specify which parent a child will stay with and at what times the parent may spend with the child, including time over school breaks, holidays, weekends and other special days.
When developing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, the child’s best interests are the primary consideration under the law. The court will consider many different factors when determining what is in the child’s best interests:
- Age of the child
- Parents’ ability to care for the child
- Emotional relationship between each parent and the child
- Family history of domestic violence or substance abuse, etc.
- Location where each parent lives or plans to live.
When modifying a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule after the court enters an order, the parent seeking the modification must show a change in circumstances that are “substantial, material and unanticipated” and must show that the new schedule would be in the child’s best interests.
Through negotiating, mediating, and/or other methods, the attorneys at Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. will strive to develop an agreed-upon time-sharing schedule between the parents. If an agreement cannot be reached, we will zealously advocate on your behalf at trial. If you are seeking to establish or modify a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule, please contact our office in Naples, Florida to schedule a confidential consultation.