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How are time sharing decisions made in Florida?

In Florida, what is most often referred to as child custody is broken down into two main categories: "time sharing," and "parental responsibility." This is done to try to make a clear distinction between the time spent with the child, and the responsibility for the decisions made about the child. Decisions about both of these categories are not taken lightly. Judges take countless factors into consideration before making any decisions about them.

This blog will provide a brief overview into the relationship between time-sharing and parental responsibility in Florida, and about the custody terms under the law.

A trend toward equal parenting time

Since around 2014, there has been a distinct trend in Florida to try to lean toward equal time-sharing whenever possible. This is because it has been found to be in the best interests of the child. Even in a situation when one parent is granted sole custody, the courts will not terminate the relationship that the child has with his or her other parent, unless there are some extreme circumstances that may endanger the child.

In the best interests of the child

The family court in Florida will always seek to ensure that any decision made will be in the best interests of the child. Concerning both time-sharing and parental responsibility, the court will assess factors such as each parent's willingness to support the growth of the child, the stability of their home environments and any history of violence or neglect. If the child is of a sufficient age, usually aged 12 or over, the court will also take his or her wishes into account.

Source: The spruce, "Child Custody in Florida," Debrina Washington, accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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