Tag: Timesharing

Florida Child Custody Laws

Florida Child Custody Laws | Child Custody in Florida

Florida child custody laws are primarily based on Florida statutory law. Child Custody in Florida is also supported, enhanced, distinguished and determined by Florida case law. Florida Statute 61.13(2-3) provides the factors that a Florida family law court uses to decide timesharing. Timesharing used to be referred to (and still is in many states) as child custody. Here in the State of Florida, child custody is known as and referred to as timesharing. Timesharing is the amount of overnights a parent will spend with their children. A Florida parenting plan will also specify many other forms of timesharing between parents and their children. According to Florida child custody laws, a parenting plan must specify the number of overnights parents will spend with their children. Jonathan Jacobs is a divorce lawyer in Orlando and a divorce lawyer in Clermont Florida.  

A frequently asked question is whether Florida child custody laws explicitly provide for 50-50 custody for both parents. The answer is no, but the Florida Legislature is still deciding this issue. Nevertheless, Florida family law courts tend to favor equal timesharing unless there are valid reasons for one parent having a lesser amount of time with their kids. Child support may be a factor in this process.

A frequently asked question is whether Florida child custody laws explicitly provide for 50-50 custody for both parents. The answer is no, but the Florida Legislature is still deciding this issue. Nevertheless, Florida family law courts tend to favor equal timesharing unless there are valid reasons for one parent having a lesser amount of time with their kids. Child support may be a factor in this process.

Best Interests of the Child Standard Influences Child Custody in Florida

As you may have read throughout our Florida Family Law Blog, timesharing is based on the best interests of the child standard. This is an admirable legal standard, but it is vague until the unique facts of your case are brought before the court. This is one reason your attorney should spend significant time with you before your case is filed, and while your case is ongoing. Your attorney should use his/her knowledge of child custody in Florida to match the facts of your case to the law. This may provide a sort of guidepost for how a judge might ultimately rule on your case, and may encourage a reasonable settlement among the parents without extensive litigation.

Child Custody in Florida

Florida Statute 61.13 and Florida Child Custody Laws

The factors listed in Florida Statute 61.13 do not cover all Florida child custody laws, but they are used by attorneys in influencing the determination of child custody in court. The litigants are welcome to make additional arguments they believe are in the best interests of the child. There is an argument to be made that the first factors listed in the Statute are the most frequently challenged issues.

For example, do the parents encourage a close and continuous relationship between the kids and their ex? Or do the parents try to limit the other parent’s time with the kids unreasonably? Does one parent work such long hours that the only way they can provide care for their children is to delegate child care responsibilities to a third party or grandparent? If the kids are in school, how far away do the parents live from one another to ensure the kids will not be traveling for hours every day? The statutory factors for child custody in Florida continue by going into the daily tasks and responsibilities of the children’s upbringing.

If you would like a consultation on Florida Child Custody Laws, call the Jacobs Law Firm, and a child custody attorney will speak with you about your case.

Time sharing and child support in Florida

Time Sharing and Child Support in Florida

Time Sharing and Child Support in Florida

One of the primary questions clients ask me is how do time sharing and child support in Florida go together? Worded differently, does time sharing affect child support in Florida? This is a great question, and an astute client asks it with good reason. I have heard many family law mediators lecture litigants that time sharing and child support are separate issues and should be addressed distinctly and separately. This is easy for the mediator to say because they are not paying child support based on the number of overnights in a timesharing agreement, you the litigant or client are. I believe that the splitting of the issues as mutually exclusive is noble in concept, but foolhardy and impractical in real law practice. Honestly, facts are facts, child support is largely based on the number of overnights the parties are allocated/awarded in the time sharing agreement. Why then should any litigant ignore this fact and give up valuable time with their child(ren) and at great financial cost?

Timesharing

How Are Time sharing and child support in Florida Connected?

Child custody and child support in Florida are inextricably linked and should be considered as one issue. If a dad or a mom fights for more time with their child(ren) and that comes with a reduction in support being paid to the other side, that is not some self-serving motivation, it means that that parent will keep more money to spend on their child(ren) when they have time sharing with them. This is why pushing litigants to negotiate time sharing first, and then figure out the child support obligation is short-sighted and does not serve the client or litigant. In fact, it operates against their interest, and frankly, can operate against the interest of their kid(s).

Educating Clients about Time sharing and child support in Florida

The best approach is to educate clients, or litigants, whether you are their attorney, or mediator, so that they can understand how child custody and child support in Florida are connected and operate based on one another. Once armed with all of the facts and some knowledge of the law, family law litigants can render the best decisions for themselves and their children. Family law cases are about whole families, not just lawyers, not only mediators, but mostly, families and their best interests as an entirety. I would encourage clients to continue asking brilliant questions that address issues such as time sharing and child support in Florida that impact their families and their financial and emotional wellbeing.