Set the stage for a strong custody sharing relationship after divorce

When your marriage ends, getting along with your former spouse remains essential if you have children. Florida uses the term time-sharing to describe custody and notes that children benefit from spending time with both parents.

Learn more about creating a time-sharing agreement in Florida and review the factors the state uses to determine a time-sharing arrangement that suits the child’s best interests.

Reaching a parenting time agreement

You and your spouse can attempt to reach an agreement outside of court, or you can ask the judge in your divorce case to create a parenting time agreement on your behalf. You can also use a professional mediator to help you negotiate a schedule that fits the child’s needs and works with the family’s lifestyle. When you reach an agreement outside of court, the judge will review and approve it when finalizing your divorce.

Understanding best interest factors

Florida courts ensure that parenting plans serve the child’s best interests by reviewing these and other relevant factors:

  • The ages, health and developmental needs of your children
  • Whether both parents can meet the child’s needs and provide consistency, stability and safety at home
  • Evidence of domestic violence or neglect
  • The child’s current well-being in the community, at home and at school
  • The geographic distance between the parents’ homes
  • The mental health, physical health and moral fitness of each parent

In addition, you and your former spouse must also display the willingness to foster a relationship with your child and his or her other parent. Cooperating and communicating well with your coparent can help your children adjust to this sometimes difficult transition.