When a couple gets divorced, an essential part of the parenting plan is agreeing upon a timesharing schedule, often referred to as a visitation schedule in other states. This calendar details when children spend time with each parent.
Florida Timesharing Schedule Guidelines
In Florida, there are two ways to solidify a timesharing schedule. It may be included in an agreed-upon settlement or submitted as a proposed schedule to the Court for the judge or magistrate to decide.
The goal of the timesharing schedule is to benefit the children while also promoting quality on-going parent-child relationships with both parents.
Court Suggested Factors to Consider
Florida courts offer some guidelines and suggestions for crafting your timesharing schedule.
- Minimize disruption and loss: Children of divorce often feel adrift without stability. Ensure that your schedule maintains as much consistency in their lives as possible.
- Maximize relationships: Be sure your parenting plan encourages the healthy continuation of relationships between your children and everyone in their lives. Remember to prioritize their needs by encouraging the other parent to share an active role in your child’s life and share responsibilities equally when appropriate.
- Security & stability: Children of divorce tend to adjust better when both parties live close by and maintain consistency. Children feel safer and more secure when they remain in familiar surroundings and attend the same school, sports programs, and other routine activities.
- Reduce conflict: Studies show that children who are exposed to constant conflict between their parents suffer short-term and long-term effects. Kids should be shielded from any altercations. Be careful not to disparage your co-parent in front of your children. Think about how you want to model your behavior for them to learn from in their own future relationships.
- Plan for change: Even the best-laid plans are subject to change. As children grow and life events occur, remain open to modifying the plan to suit everyone’s best interests.
Other Important Aspects to a Timesharing Schedule
When planning out your timesharing schedule, remember that the Court requires a separate summer break schedule and an explicit detailing of which holidays and special occasions the children will spend with each parent.The courts may also require different timesharing schedules for children of different ages. As children grow and their schedules change due to school or other activities, the plan may need to be revised.A timesharing schedule needs to be in writing and detail when each parent’s time begins and ends. The parenting plan also needs to indicate when and where the children will be exchanged.
How Does Timesharing Affect Child Support?
In Florida, many factors influence how child support is calculated. Child support is based on each parent’s income and how much time they spend with the children. The Florida courts use a “Child Support Guidelines Worksheet” to calculate the figure, but typically, the child support is tied to overnights spent with the children.
Contemplating a divorce and in need of an attorney’s expertise? We invite you to contact Yaffa Family Law Group to schedule a consultation at [email protected] or (561) 276-3880. Our divorce lawyers represent clients throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties.