In each Florida family law case (such as divorce or paternity) that involves the custody of a child, Florida law requires that a parenting plan be established. One of the most important elements of a parenting plan is the child custody schedule, now known as a “time-sharing” schedule.
Family Law Tip: You should never let a judge decide your child’s time-sharing schedule. A judge does not know your family dynamics and bases such decisions on very limited information, and usually the judge is seeing parents, especially divorcing parents, at the worst time in their lives. Instead, you and your co-parent should use a private form of dispute resolution, such as collaborative family law.
As I tell clients who come to my Tampa office, there are many different types of time-sharing schedules. Below are some samples provided by the 12th Judicial Circuit (which includes Sarasota and Manatee Counties). The parent who is listed in a box is the one whom the child will be staying with overnight:
For the above example of Alternating Weekend + 1 Midweek, let’s assume that the father is designated Parent A and the mother is designated as Parent B. The child would spend his overnights with the father every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and with the mother every Wednesday. In the first week, the child would spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday overnight with the father, and in the second week, the child would spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday overnight with the mother.
In the next example, above, titled Alternating Weekends, the child would spend overnights with the father every Monday through Thursday, and would alternate between the homes on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Each of these schedules has advantages and disadvantages, and you should make sure to speak with a family law attorney to learn the differences. Whichever time-sharing schedule you and your co-parent should choose, you should ensure that you are choosing it because it is in the best interests of your child.
If you have questions regarding Florida child custody and would like to speak with a Tampa Bay family law attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or via our contact form.
Adam B. Cordover is the current President of Next Generation Divorce, Florida’s largest network of collaboratively-trained attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals, serving Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.