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Time-sharing in Miami: Child Custody Guidelines & Parenting Plans

florida time sharing guidelines

When a family goes through a divorce, one of the most challenging and emotional aspects is the determination of child custody.

In Miami, Florida, child custody is referred to as time-sharing, which refers to the amount of time each parent spends with their child. It is governed by specific guidelines and parenting plans.

Let’s explore the Florida time-sharing guidelines and parenting plans and how a Florida child custody lawyer can help.

Understanding Time-sharing

In Florida family law, one of the most commonly discussed topics is child custody or time-sharing. While many people use these terms interchangeably, Florida law makes distinct differences.

In Florida, time-sharing refers to the time each parent spends with their child after a divorce or separation, whether it’s overnight or just visitations (without the child spending time with the parent overnight), or both. The state encourages parents to create a parenting plan that outlines how time-sharing will be divided. If the parents cannot agree, the court will intervene and create a parenting plan based on the child’s best interests.

Plans for child visitation and/or overnight time-sharing can be flexible and tailored to meet the child’s and the parent’s specific needs. The plan can include details such as which days and times the child will spend with each parent, who will be responsible for transportation, and how the parents will make important decisions about the child’s upbringing.

How Is the Best Interest of the Child Determined?

In Miami, the child’s best interest is the most important consideration when determining a time-sharing schedule.

The court considers various factors when making this determination, including but not limited to:

  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs.
  • The moral fitness of the parents.
  • The mental and physical health of each parent.
  • The child’s preference, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent.
  • The stability of each parent’s home environment.
  • The parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate with each other regarding the child’s upbringing.
  • The parents’ involvement in the child’s education, extracurricular activities, and medical care.
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

Florida Child Custody Guidelines

For families in Miami, there are specific Florida statutes that outline child custody guidelines. The guidelines are based on the concept that children benefit from having a strong and stable relationship with both parents.

These guidelines promote shared parental responsibility and maximize each parent’s time with their child. However, that unfortunately is not always the outcome.

The court’s sole concern when considering a parenting plan is the children’s best interests and wellbeing, not the parents. Each case presents their own unique circumstances which the Court must take into consideration when deciding what is ultimately in the children’s best interests.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Miami, parents are required to submit a parenting plan to the court as part of the divorce proceedings. This document outlines the specific details of the time-sharing arrangement, parental responsibilities, and other aspects of co-parenting.

A parenting plan benefits everyone as it provides structure and stability for the child and helps minimize conflict between the parents. It also provides a roadmap for co-parenting and allows parents to work together to meet their child’s needs.

Your parenting plan should include:

  • A time-sharing schedule
  • A determination of child support need
  • A dispute resolution process
  • A plan for communication between parents
  • A plan for major decisions regarding the child’s welfare
  • A plan for transportation of the child

Need Legal Help Navigating Florida Child Custody Guidelines?

Time-sharing can be challenging and emotional for parents and children alike. However, by understanding the Florida guidelines and creating a comprehensive parenting plan, parents can ensure that their child’s best interests are always the top priority.

By working together, parents can provide their children with a stable and loving environment that promotes growth and development.

If you need help establishing custody, creating a parenting plan, or navigating time-sharing options, contact us today at Vasquez de Lara Law Group. We’ll ensure your parenting plan benefits everyone involved—especially your children.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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