In Florida, each parent have a “time sharing” arrangement with their child or children. Under this arrangement, there is no formal “custody” as each parent has an equal responsibility for their offspring. Ideally, parents would be able to work out a time sharing arrangement with their respective child custody attorneys. If an agreement cannot be agreed upon, a judge will examine various factors under Florida law in order to create a schedule for the parents.
Ultimately, the goal of any time sharing arrangement should be to meet the best interests of the children involved. This means “frequent” contact with each parent, unless there are issues with domestic violence that might impact the safety of the child or the other parent. These interests will change as the child ages and the circumstances of the respective parents change. Therefore it is important for parents to work together to ensure the child’s needs are being met and that each parent has the opportunity to play a meaningful role in a child’s life.
If, for some reason, one parent refuses to honor the time sharing arrangement, there are consequences for the offending party. This could be extra time awarded to the aggrieved parent in order to make up for time lost. It may also mean paying court costs and attorney’s fees for the aggrieved parent. If there are reasons to believe that a child may not be safe or there are other circumstances that could impact the time sharing arrangement, a parent should contact their child visitation attorney immediately in order to help prevent these penalties.
At the Law Offices of James S. Cunha, we have helped many parents create a time sharing arrangement that meets the needs of both parents and the child. When parents are able to work out these arrangements on their own, it generally provides better outcomes for everyone involved. It costs less than litigation, is easier to amend as needed, and generally helps parents work together to raise their child. If you need help with visitation issues or any family law matter in West Palm Beach, contact the Law Offices of James S. Cunha right away to schedule a consultation.