Fathers’ Rights to Child Time Sharing in Florida
Under Florida law, the term “custody” is not used, nor is there a primary or secondary residential parent designation in the statutes. Conversely, state law grants both parents the rights to “time sharing” with their children. This means that a court will order a time-sharing schedule whose purpose is to serve the best interest of the child, or children, taking into consideration the factors listed in § 61.13, Florida Statutes. In other words, the law does not prefer the mother over the father regarding time sharing rights in Florida.
Time Sharing Explained
Time sharing – commonly known as visitation rights in other parts of the country – refers to the schedule of time that a parent spends with his or her child or children after a divorce is finalized. This is often laid out in a parenting plan, which is a document or information included in a settlement agreement, that details how the soon-to-be ex spouses will parent the children following a divorce. A time sharing plan is part of this document.
Terms that describe the types of time sharing plans include majority time sharing and equal time sharing. If both parents have equal time sharing, child support is still calculated based on statutory guidelines. Factors considered include the parties’ income, percentage of time sharing, health costs, daycare expenses and uncovered medical expenses. Under Florida law, the amount of time sharing a parent has will affect the amount of child support that is ordered to be paid. Only overnight stays are used for purposes of time sharing calculations. Generally, the higher the parent’s time sharing percentage, the lower the child support payment.
A parent cannot refuse to allow another parent to visit a child even if child support is not paid. Except for calculating the child support payment amount, Florida courts treat time sharing and child support apart and separate from one another.
Child Time Sharing Attorney in Florida
If you or someone you know has questions relating to child time sharing – or any other family law issue – contact the experienced legal professionals at Steve W. Marsee, P.A. With years of experience servicing families in Central Florida, Mr. Marsee can assist you in any family law related questions you may have. Call (407) 521-7171 to schedule your initial consultation.