• TIME SHARING
public policy is to ensure that children have frequent and continuing
contact with both parents after separation and divorce. Among the
decisions that parents will need to make is how the children's time
will be shared between the parents. If the children live most of
the time with one parent, that parent is usually called the "primary
residential parent." The other parent is often called the "secondary
residential parent." Under Florida law, the father is given
the same consideration as the mother in determining primary residence
for the children.
time spent with the secondary residential parent is referred to
in different ways. "Visitation," "contact and access,"
"time sharing," or "parenting" schedules are
the most commonly used terms. The schedule can be as flexible or
structured as is needed for your family. For some families, nearly
equal time sharing may work well. If the parents cannot agree on
a time sharing schedule, the court must decide, considering the
parent who is more likely to allow the children frequent contact
with the other parent.
love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the children
and each parent. It is important for the children to maintain these
ties if they are to reach their maximum potential.
devotion of the parent to the best interest of the children. A child
should not be used as a pawn or a weapon.
ability and desire of each parent to provide food, clothing, shelter,
and other needs of the children. The willingness to provide is more
important than the ability, since the court can order child support.
court will also consider: (a) the stability of each proposed home;
(b) the success the children have enjoyed in each home; (c) the
morals of each parent; (d) the physical and emotional health of
each parent; and (e) the reasonable preference of the children,
if the court finds that they are mature enough to express an opinion.
The court will also consider any other relevant factors.
Taken from the Florida Bar Consumer Pamphlets