Child custody and visitation can often seem like a game of tug-of-war between the two parents. Both parties want to maintain a relationship with the child or children. These disputes do not have to be vicious wars that cause unnecessary distress to the children involved. With the help of an attorney from my firm, you can develop a plan that works for both parties. It is not likely to be an easy situation if you and your spouse are already unable to mutually agree on aspects of childrearing. At Charles E. Willmott, P.A., I can help you develop a plan that permits mutual agreement between the divorcing parties.
Current Timesharing Laws
Timesharing is designed to help avoid unnecessary arguments and disagreements that can arise during custodial issues. There are many factors that go into the consideration of timesharing. The courts have to consider several factors when determining timesharing. The first consideration to be made is the best interests of the child. Other factors include the parent's ability to have a significant relationship with the child, to work with one another and to place the child's needs before their own. There are approximately 20 considerations that the court makes when determining time sharing in Florida.
Do Children Spend Equal Time With Parents?
There is NO presumption for "equal timesharing" for both parents, and in fact, it remains disfavored by the Courts especially for school-age children. All timesharing arrangements must be approved by the Court (even if you agree) and approval of "week to week" or "50/50" is rare. The "majority timesharing" parent really is the person who has "custody" or what we used to call the "primary residential parent" and "timesharing" is just a nicer way of saying "visitation". While these are merely "labels", the "majority timesharing" parent does, in effect, have "custody" of the children and with such a designation comes some benefits such as having the children in their care more and choosing their school district. Your Jacksonville divorce lawyer should know your judge, the parenting plan evaluators, and the opposing counsel so that they can maximize your time with your children.
Who Will Be the "Majority Timesharing" Parent?
Sixteen years of experience have taught me that the following five questions can answer that question in most cases.
- Are you the mother? According to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau Study, only 17.4% of men are custodial parents. This has been unchanged since 1994. Read the report here.
- Were you a stay-at-home parent for most of the marriage?
- Did the children stay with you when you and your spouse separated?
- Do you have temporary "majority timesharing" of your children during the divorce case?
- Does the parenting plan evaluation recommend you?
If you can answer "yes" to most of these questions, absent some unusual circumstances, there is a good chance that the Court will award you the "majority timesharing" of your children. You can further read the factors that the Court considers here. Even if you answered "no" to most of those questions, you should talk to one of the few board certified Jacksonville divorce lawyer about maximizing your time with your children. And, of course, there are some special considerations for military families.
Devising a Parenting Plan in Jacksonville, FL
A parenting plan is an agreement that governs the relationship between both parties. A time sharing schedule can be developed that will be the guideline for each parent concerning their minor child. All circumstances must be taken into consideration when developing a parenting plan. Both parents will have to agree to the plan and it will have to be approved by the court.
As one of a few board certified Jacksonville divorce lawyer, I have handled hundreds of child custody matters. I also have mediated several hundreds of child custody cases. As a social investigator for our circuit, I have prepared over one hundred written recommendations for our family law courts as well as testified as an expert. If you have questions about timesharing and parenting plans in Florida, do not hesitate to reach out.
As lawyer who aggressively fights to defend the rights of clients, I can help you and your spouse agree to a plan that places the interests of the child as first priority. Contact my firm!
"Charles Willmott is a dedicated professional who will speak the truth. Mr. Willmott is straightforward with his clients and is willing to listen. He can take what at times can be very messy situations and come up with a clear plan of action."
"I was a mess the first day I met with him; he immediately put my mind at ease and explained the different outcomes my divorce may have had. He's extremely knowledgeable, upfront, and honest."
"I have been a client of Charles for almost nine years, and he has never let me down. He always told me what to expect and has been right every time."
Certified Family Law Mediator
Board Certified in Marital & Family Law
Nearly 30 Years of Experience in Family Law
Personalized Attention for Individual Needs
Fill out the form below or feel free to call us at (904) 849-5183. We also offer remote video & Zoom conferences.