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What should parents know about child custody in Florida?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2021 | family law |

Florida uses the term “time-sharing” to describe a situation in which parents share custody of their children. If you and your spouse decide to divorce, you must agree on a time-sharing plan that supports your child’s well-being. 

Review the factors that influence the child custody process for Florida families. 

Shared parental responsibility

Florida maintains that children benefit from a close relationship with both parents. You and the child’s other parent have an equal responsibility for and right to parenting time. In rare cases, the court may order sole parental responsibility if one parent has a history of domestic violence or could otherwise negatively affect the child’s health and safety. 

Best interest factors

When parents do not agree to a time-sharing plan outside of court, they can ask the judge to decide. Florida courts consider these and other factors to create an arrangement that supports your child’s best interests: 

  • How close you and your spouse live to one another after the divorce 
  • How well you can each meet the child’s developmental needs 
  • Whether each of you shields the child from conflict and promotes a relationship with the other parent 
  • Whether either parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence or child neglect, or has made a false report about these factors to the court 
  • How each of you has participated in the child’s care, education and extracurricular activities 
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health 
  • How well you communicate with one another about the child’s needs 
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a safe, stable environment 

Working with your spouse to create a solid parenting plan can help set the foundation for a good coparenting relationship.