“Timesharing” is the new term-of-art for what most of us remember as “Child Custody.” This subject is often one of the most contentious parts of any divorce, and the most difficult and challenging issue the parties have to resolve. Every parent feels that they should have the child(ten) for the majority of the time for many reasons. Some legitimately believe that the other is unfit to parent. Some want the children purely for financial purposes. Dads are concerned that the courts favor the moms, and moms are concerned that the laws are evolving to their detriment. In most jurisdiction today, both parents start off on equal footing, that is, on an even playing field.
Historically, there was a presumption against the 50/50 timesharing split because it was thought to not be in the best interest of children. Some judges still believe that one parent needs to have the child throughout the school week for that child to have the best chance of success. However, as our culture evolves and economics influence the way we live our day-to-day lives, the courts are recognizing that the traditional model family no longer exists. Accordingly, the approach to timesharing is changing. Recent changes in the law support a presumption of 50/50 timesharing, allowing the parents to devise a schedule that works best for their family. There are many factors a judge will consider pursuant to Florida Statute 61.13 to make a determination of timesharing. Consideration of these factors, combined with a parenting course and parenting plan, will assist in the formation of a reasonable timesharing routine that will serve the best interests of your child(ren.) It is usually in your best interests to resolve these issues together, rather than being in a forced situation where the court makes these determinations for you.