Are Mothers and Fathers Equal When It Comes to Time-sharing?
Time-sharing is a highly important matter for any parents who are getting divorced or otherwise ending their relationships. When two parents live separately, it is necessary to determine when the child will live with each parent, which is referred to as time-sharing under Florida law.
Many people assume that courts might favor mothers over fathers when it comes to time-sharing schedules. But fortunately for all parents, there is no presumption that favors one parent over the other based on gender. Instead, courts use guidelines set out in state law when determining time-sharing arrangements.
If you have a time-sharing case - whether or not it is part of your divorce - you need an experienced Daytona time-sharing lawyer on your side to protect your parental rights.
Courts Should Not Automatically Favor Mothers
In the past, many courts across the country favored mothers over fathers in custody determinations. This was especially true if a child was younger, as the “tender years doctrine” stated that children do better when cared for by their mothers during these tender years. In the past few decades, however, many states have updated their custody laws to eliminate a presumption favoring the mother, including Florida.
Florida law makes it very clear that courts should not automatically favor a mother in a time-sharing case. Specifically, the law states that:
- Parents are encouraged to share all parental responsibilities and rights of their children
- Children should have continuing and frequent contact with both parents whenever possible
- No presumption exists that automatically favors either the mother or father
- There is no presumption for or against any specific time-sharing schedule.
Despite these laws, some judges might still have old-fashioned views toward parenting, and they might let these views cause unfair - and unlawful bias - against a father. This is only one reason why it is extremely important to have an experienced time-sharing lawyer handling your case.
How Time-sharing Decisions Are Made
First, parents always have the opportunity to reach an agreement regarding their time-sharing schedule. If both parents can agree to split time with their child a certain way, your lawyer can write up a schedule and parenting plan and submit it to the court. If the court approves the schedule, it can issue that as the time-sharing order, eliminating the need for court intervention.
If parents cannot agree, however, the judge will make determinations about time-sharing based on what is in the best interests of the child. Many factors can be considered, including:
- The needs of the child
- The ability of the parents to meet those needs
- Whether any parent has engaged in abuse of the child
- Substance abuse, mental illness, or physical disability of a parent
- The preference of the child (if they are mature enough)
- The child’s ties to each parent’s communities
- The willingness of the parents to cooperate and co-parent
Contact The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Klein, P.A., Daytona Beach divorce attorneys
If you have a time-sharing determination in court, you want a Daytona family lawyer from the Law Office of Jeffrey A. Klein representing you. Call 386-252-3061 or contact us online to discuss your situation and how we might help.
We are always readily available to answer your questions.
We communicate directly with our clients, always promptly returning calls.
We are a husband and wife team that genuinely cares about our clients.