If you are going through the process of initiating a divorce in Florida, there is no doubt that you have numerous concerns about how this will change your life and the life of your family. There are many different, complicated aspects involved in getting a divorce in Florida.
One of them that is the most emotionally charged involves what happens to your children. Florida is unlike other states in that it does not refer to how children spend time with divorced parents as child custody. Instead, the key word in Florida is known as time sharing.
Where children are involved in the end of a marriage, there is still some interaction among the parenting parties. A great deal of money is often spent on the attorneys because parties are unable to come to an agreement on their own.
Identifying an experienced Tampa divorce attorney who can help you with this process is extremely beneficial. The process of fighting for time sharing parenting rights in Florida can be costly and emotionally draining. It is important to bear in mind that there is no presumption in favor of women in Florida as it relates to time sharing with minor children.
The court applies what is known as a best interest test in terming where it is more appropriate for the children to live. Sometimes children may spend an equal part of each week, month, or year with each parent.
However, a court will not favor this arrangement in the event that it interferes with the child’s well-being or schooling schedule. Unfortunately, time sharing battles regarding children in Florida can become very intense very quickly.
Sometimes parents who assume they will be able to reach a reasonable agreement together outside of court find that this is impossible. Sometimes the other spouse may get an idea in their head that the agreed-upon solution is no longer fair or reasonable and thus can make things contested. It’s hard to cope when the future of the children is on the line in a situation like this as a parent.
In these situations, experts like psychiatrists and psychologists may be brought in to assist the court in determining what is in the best interest of the child. Florida utilizes a concept known as Shared Parental Responsibility. This means that even though the child may primarily live with one parent, the other parent will also have an equal say in how that child is raised.
Each party would have input on issues like religion, discipline, education, and health. In the event that parties are unable to come to an agreement, the judge will decide on their behalf. Visitation issues can also be problematic.
Parental Concerns in Divorce
Many parents want to maximize their time with their children. Courts will usually try to consider the needs of the child as well as the working schedule of both parents. The primary goal is to encourage a loving and close relationship with both parents.
Florida law also evaluates parenting coordination. The purpose of this is to allow for a dispute resolution process in which a parenting coordinator helps parents works together to draft a parenting plan that has the best needs of the child in mind.
The court is not allowed to order parties to go to parenting coordination without both parents giving their consent, unless the court determines that the parties have the capability to pay financially for the coordination fees and costs.
Parenting plans in Florida are mandatory. These are documents that help to govern the relationship between both parents as it relates to decisions made for and about the minor child.
These parenting plans also include a time sharing schedule for the parents and the children. Time sharing can have a significant implication on your relationship with your children and your ability to co-parent with your former spouse.
Consult with an Experienced Divorced Lawyer at Tampa, Florida Today
Finding an experienced Tampa divorce lawyer who has helped others in this situation is strongly recommended. A knowledgeable lawyer can prepare you for what to expect and advise you about next steps going forward. Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced, uncontested, or contested divorce attorney in Florida to learn more today.
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