PARENTING & TIME-SHARING §61.13(3) Part 2 of 9 | Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Naples

Factors Florida Courts Consider when Awarding Time-Sharing/Custody

(A) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.

  • The parent who is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent.” (public policy of Florida)
  • 61.13(2)(c)2: It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.
    1. The better parent is the parent who sacrifices himself or herself for the children, even to the point of promoting the children to the one person he or she may dislike the most, the other parent. The primary residential parent has no rights, only the obligation to act in the best interests of the children.
    2. Has the parent promptly provided his or her address and telephone number to the other parent? If not, why not? Is the other parent angry and hostile? Are they both angry and hostile to each other? If so, they need counseling.
    3. Has the parent encouraged and welcomed the other parent’s efforts to discuss parenting issues? How?
    4. How far apart do the parents live? Has one parent intentionally moved far from the other parent, without considering how this will affect contact between the children and the other parent? Why did one parent move far away from the other parent after separation, if they live some distance from each other? Out of a desire to interfere with contact between the children and the other parent or without considering the impact on the children?
    5. Has the parent contacted the other parent’s mother and father to arrange grandparent visitation? The children have two families, not one.
    6. Has the parent completed the required parenting course? Did that parent learn anything? What? Tell the judge what he or she learned in the course. Can the parent write a short essay on “How to carry out the duties of a primary residential parent?”

Has the parent allowed and encouraged the children to speak openly in his or her presence about the other parent, without comment, condemnation or characterization and to share whatever the child wants to share concerning the other parent, good, bad or indifferent?

  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and

continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.

  1. Does the parent keep a framed photo of the other parent prominently displayed in the house or at least in the children’s rooms?
  2. Does the parent drive the children to and from the other parent’s house or at least meet the other parent halfway?
  3. Does the parent encourage the children to call the other parent on the phone frequently?
  4. If the hostility of the other parent is great, do the parent communicate via text or email?
  5. Is the parent willing to attend counseling with the other parent from time to time until the children are grown to work out any parenting problems that may arise? g. My job requires me to move to Tampa, what can we work out to be sure the children spend time with both parents? When should we let the child date? When should we let the child drive a car? Should the child have a car? What should we do to help the child’s grades improve? etc.
  6. Does the parent encourage the children, and provide them with the means, to send letters, birthday cards, and Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cards to the other parent?
  7. Has the parent sent the children’s school work, copies of report cards, letters, etc., to the other parent? Note: if a parent expects the children to do this the parent is using the children as a conduit for information. This is the parent’s responsibility not the children’s. Also, if a parent testifies that “He or she can get it from the school,” this is a clear indication that parent cannot promote the other parent to the children and cannot help the children develop their relationship with the other parent.
  8. Does the parent keep the school, church, or synagogue informed of the other parent’s name, address, and phone number?

To see the remaining factors on Time-Sharing/Custody be sure to follow along on our blog posts!

For more information please contact us to schedule your consultation.

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