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How is Time Sharing Determined for Children of Divorce?

Confused child with paper parentsTime sharing of a child, as the state of Florida calls child custody, is determined a little differently than you might imagine. It is not based on which parent does more “parenting” or which parent requests sole custody; it is based on the best interests of the child. The interests are determined after evaluating 20 different areas of the family’s life to see where and when the child would do best with each parent. The state of Florida severely frowns upon children being restricted on time with each parent unless their health and welfare are at risk.

The Factors Studied

In general, the following factors are considered when time sharing or custody arrangements are trying to be made:

–          The ability of each parent to stick to a fair time-sharing schedule

–          The ability of each parent to divide responsibilities

–          The ability of each parent to show that they can put the needs of the child before their own

–          The conditions the child has lived in and for how long

–          The location of each parent’s residence and the ease of transportation to and from for the child including to school and activities

–          The ability of the parents to act morally

–          The location of the child’s current home and school

–          The preferences stated by the child if he is old enough to convey them

–          The ability of each parent to communicate with others involved in the child’s life, including teachers, friends, and doctors

–          The ability of each parent to stick to the child’s routine

–          The ability of each parent to communicate with one another regarding the child

–          Any negative evidence of wrongdoing against the child (sexual abuse, violence, etc.)

–          Any evidence of false information provided to the court regarding negative issues with the child (violence, sexual abuse)

–          The ability of each parent to continue their parental duties with or without the assistance of a third party

–          The ability of each parent to be involved in the child’s life outside of the home (school and activities)

–          Any illegal activities of each parent (drug use)

–          The ability of each parent to avoid dragging the child/children into the proceedings for custody

–          The developmental needs of the child


Any other issues that may come up and pose a threat to the child will also be evaluated.