Long-Distance Time Sharing In Florida
Families often drift apart after a divorce – not just emotionally, but also geographically. It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that some spouses want to get as far away from each other as possible after the marriage ends. This is especially true if the marriage ended in bitter terms, leaving both parties with a sense of resentment. But living far apart can have a serious effect on child custody and time sharing. Here’s what you need to know about long-distance time sharing in Florida:
The Definition of a Long-Distance Parenting Plan in Florida
In Florida, there are four main parenting plans that courts use:
- Basic Plan
- Long Distance Plan
- Highly-Structured Plan
- Safety-Focused Plan
The long-distance plan is used under the following circumstances:
- Parents have an agreeable relationship
- Parents communicate effectively
- No history of domestic violence
- No history of child abuse
- No history of substance abuse
- Parents live more than 50 miles apart
Note that the long-distance plan could come into effect long after the divorce is finalized. For example, you might start with a basic plan but later adopt a long-distance plan when one or both spouses move to a new county or state.
Unique Considerations for Long Distance Parenting
Several unique issues may arise when parents live far apart from one another, including:
- Communication: Communication becomes very important when parents live far apart. Parents may feel very distant from their children, and they may want to check in with them as often as possible. This is why Florida’s Long Distance Parenting Plan lays out a system for a “Communication Schedule.” Just like a parenting schedule, this helps parents understand when and how they can speak with their children. This schedule must be respected. For example, if the child is scheduled to have a video call with their parent, the other parent must allow this to happen.
- Travel Costs: Travel costs can be significant when parents live far apart. This is why Florida’s Long-Distance Parenting Plan contains clear details on methods of travel and who should pay for travel.
- Child Stress: The stress of traveling long distances can be a serious problem for children. Family courts always try to serve the best interests of the children. This is why you might want to limit “ferrying your child back and forth” over long distances multiple times in a single week, for example.
- Penalties: Last but not least, Florida’s Long-Distance Parenting Plan lays out clear penalties for parents who fail to abide by its conditions.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Time Sharing Attorney in Florida?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified Orlando divorce attorney, look no further than Steve Marsee, P.A. Over the years, we have assisted numerous parents in the Sunshine State with various matters related to child custody. We know that spending time with your kids isn’t always easy when parents live far apart. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can make this easier on your family and protect your child’s best interests. Book your consultation today to review your legal options.