Tampa Parenting Plans & Timesharing Lawyer
At Westchase Law P.A., we understand that nothing is more important to you than your children, and in the event of divorce or an end to a relationship, looking out for their well-being and best interests are of utmost concern. Florida family courts are likewise focused on the best interests of the children and won’t make any decision regarding parenting or timesharing that isn’t in the children’s best interests.. When it comes to making those decisions, you can trust Westchase Law P.A. to provide the family law judges with the information they need to determine the best parenting plan for the children. With a team of skilled and experienced family law attorneys, including a Board-Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law, you can feel confident that your children’s needs and goals will be adequately considered by the court. Call our experienced Tampa parenting plan & timesharing lawyers today for immediate assistance in your family law matter.
How Courts Determine Parenting and Timesharing Issues
Florida law on parenting and timesharing starts with the premise that all related matters shall be decided with the best interests of the children at the forefront of any determination. That said, the law also lays out the public policy of the state that every minor child should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage is dissolved. Both parents are also encouraged to share the “rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.” The law makes it clear that there is no presumption in favor of the mother or the father when it comes to any specific timesharing schedule or creating a parenting plan.
Under the law, parental responsibility should also be shared by both parents unless the court finds that sharing responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Some factors, such as a parent’s conviction for domestic violence or if the parent will be incarcerated for a significant portion of the child’s childhood, at least raise the presumption that shared parenting would not be in the child’s best interests. Absent facts like those, the court will have to consider a long list of factors to determine what kind of parenting and timesharing will be in the children’s best interest. There are twenty factors for the court to consider when fashioning a parenting plan and timesharing schedule including, but not limited to, the following:
· How well each parent is able to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and other parent, honor the timesharing schedule, and be reasonable when changes are necessary
- Each parent’s ability to put the child’s needs ahead of their own
- How long the child has lived in a stable home environment and the importance of maintaining that continuity
- The distance between home and school and between the parents’ respective residences and the amount of travel time required under the parenting plan
- Each parent’s moral fitness and physical and mental health
- The child’s home, school and community record
- The child’s reasonable preference, as deemed appropriate by the court
- How well each parent knows their child’s friends, teachers, doctors, daily activities and favorite things
- How well each parent can provide a consistent routine for the child
- Each parent’s capacity to communicate with the other parent and keep them informed of issues related to the child
- Any evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
- Any evidence that either parent knowingly provided false information to the court about any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
- How parenting responsibilities were divided during the marriage
- Each parent’s ability to be involved in the child’s schooling and extracurricular activities
- Each parent’s ability to maintain an environment for the child free from substance abuse
- How well each parent acts to shield the children from the ongoing divorce litigation
- Whether each parent makes or refrains from making disparaging comments about the other parent to the child
- The child’s developmental stage and how well each parent can respond to those developmental needs
With so many factors to consider, it’s essential to hire an experienced family law attorney who knows the essential aspects of the law and has successfully built strong cases in support of parents and their children. Our attorneys have decades of family law experience and are passionate about helping parents get through family law matter with their parent-child relationship intact and with their children set up in an environment where they can grow and thrive. We know you want the best outcome for your kids, and we are here to help you reach that goal.
Contact Westchase Law P.A. Today
Westchase Law P.A. is here to help with matters related to child custody and visitation in your Florida divorce or other family law related matter. Contact our experienced Tampa family law attorneys today.