What Do You Need to Know About Timesharing in Florida?

Why Timesharing is Important?

A dissolution can be a very emotional experience for some.  This is especially true when a divorce involves children.  The current rules require that when parties have children, a parenting plan must be developed.  The parenting plan details parental responsibility, timesharing (formally referred to as visitation), and child support.  It may also include additional details unique to a particular child or children, or it may address a unique family situation.  Although the Court system attempts to equalize timesharing between parents, this is not always possible.  Parents may work or live so far apart that a 50% timesharing schedule would be impractical.


What Are the Different Types of Timesharing?

Equal timesharing: Each parent receives 50% timesharing.  This can be accomplished by alternating the home in which the children live from week to week or some other schedule that results in an equal split between parents.

Majority timesharing: The parent that spends the majority of overnights with the child or children is typically known as the majority timesharing parent.  The majority timesharing parent’s home is frequently used as the child’s or children’s home address for school purposes.

Supervised timesharing:  Supervised timesharing involves a parent who is monitored during the timesharing session.  This type of timesharing is used when a parent poses a danger to the child or is perceived to be a danger to a child or children.  Cases where one or both parents are accused of abuse or neglect sometimes call for supervised timesharing.


What is sole parental responsibility vs. Shared Parental Responsibility?

In the last several years, Florida has begun to refer to “custody” as “parental responsibility”.  The root of the language change seems to be tied to the idea that by changing these references, parents would accept the concept of sharing the responsibility of being a parent with the child’s other parent.  Section 61.046 defines sole parental responsibility and shared parental responsibility.  In short, shared parental responsibility means that a child’s parents will work together and discuss and decide the best interest of their child in making decisions that impact the child’s life.  Sole parental responsibility involves just one parent being responsible for the decisions that affect a child’s life.


How Does the Court System Decide Timesharing?

There is a list of factors that judges are to take into account when deciding timesharing and parental responsibility.  The evaluation will involve the court determining which parent is the best equipped to meet the needs of the child or children.  The courts will also look to how far parents live from each other, how long a child has lived at a particular location and what living situation is in the child’s best interest.  A judge will investigate whether or not there has been a history of child abuse, domestic violence, or drug abuse involving either parent.   The courts also look to factors, such as how parental responsibility has been allocated among family members and immediate relatives.


Contact our North Florida Office to Learn More

Our Jacksonville office can answer any questions that you may have about timesharing during a divorce or paternity case.  To schedule a consultation with an experienced family law lawyer, Call (904) 685-1200 today.  Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, 4115 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, Florida 32207.  Telephone (904) 685-1200.

About the author

Neil Weinreb is a licensed Florida attorney who has been practicing family law for over 15 years in North Florida.  Mr. Weinreb works for the Law Office of David M. Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mr. Weinreb has worked as an adjunct professor teaching law to paralegal students at Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can contact Mr. Weinreb at the Law Office of David M. Goldman for a free initial consultation.





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