As of October 1, 2008, pursuant to the revised statutes of Florida family law, the term "child custody" has been replaced with "parenting plans" and "visitation" has been replaced with "time sharing."
All divorcing couples who have children under the age of 18 are required to adopt a parenting plan before the divorce can become finalized. The purpose of a parenting plan is to ensure children continue to have relationships with both of their parents by maintaining frequent contact. A parenting plan must outline how the parents will share time with the children and be involved in their daily lives. This includes details in regards to time sharing, each parent's part in raising the children, and each parent's responsibility for the children's education, healthcare, religious practices, and extracurricular activities.
A time sharing schedule outlines where the children will live, when the children will visit each parent, and the length of each visit. Since custody may not be split equally, it can also give details on how minor children are to spend holidays and summer vacations. The purpose of time sharing is to ensure that both parents get an equal amount of time to spend with the children (or as close to equal as possible). The state of Florida considers it in the children's best interest to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce.
In essence, the point of both parenting plans and time sharing is to promote a stronger and healthier family dynamic, despite the fact that the parents are no longer living under the same roof. Parents are to continue sharing the duty of raising and caring for their children, unless the court determines one parent is unfit to have shared parental responsibilities.
Experienced Divorce Attorney Serving Jacksonville, Florida
It is important to remember that the courts will always act in the children's best interest. If you are going through a divorce and there are minor children involved, Jacksonville divorce attorney Scott Ellerin can help you work towards adopting a parenting plan and time sharing arrangement that is well suited for you and your family.
Contact the Law Office of Scott Ellerin today!