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Lakeland Divorce Lawyers | Winter Haven Family Law Attorney

It is the public policy of the state of Florida that children should have two parents actively engaged in raising them. The terms for this arrangement are shared parental responsibility, or co-parenting. Custody and visitation are handled with the establishment of a parenting plan. The goal of a parenting plan is to promote security and consistency in children's lives. The best interests of the children are most important, and having a relationship with both parents is in the best interests of the children.

Florida Time Sharing Laws

In the state of Florida, the concept of child custody has been dramatically altered in recent years. To prevent unnecessary fights over child custody labels, Florida no longer uses custodial designations such as sole custody or joint custody. Instead, a mother and father may be awarded shared parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility for a child, with a time sharing designation that determines the amount of time each parent spends with the minor child.

The state of Florida favors the right of a child to spend ample time with each parent after a divorce, unless a court determines that it would not be in the best interests of the child. Florida Statute 61.13 states:

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.

Of course, this preference is not absolute. In cases where domestic abuse, chemical dependency or other issues are present that may affect the parental fitness of a spouse, the best interests of the child are always the determinative factor in a court's determination of time sharing. Parents may reach an agreement on a parenting plan that designates sole parental responsibility or shared responsibility, with a specific time sharing plan. A court will issue an order which incorporates the parties' agreement as long as it is not contrary to the best interests of the child.

What is a Parenting Plan?

Parenting Plans are meant to be meticulous and cover a child's needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No matter the time-sharing plan, we can help you navigate through the issues to reach conditions and compromises that are comprehensive and resolve every time sharing situation. We will take into account the needs and desires of the children and balance them with the lifestyles of each parent as well as practicality.

Parenting Plans are designed to provide and promote stability, relieve ambiguity and make sure that both parents' and children know what to expect in terms of life's choices and challenges. Not only are Parenting Plans meant to provide judicial economy, so parents don't keep going back to the courts for clarity about issues, but they are a cost-effective tool that can be used to avoid litigation altogether. This device gives all parties the opportunity to resolve the most common problems seen in post-dissolution litigation.

Call Allen & Abaray, P.A.

For legal advice on a visitation issue call the attorneys at Allen & Abaray, P.A. One of our experienced attorneys will be happy to answer all of your questions during a free consultation.


The experienced Lakeland personal injury attorneys at Allen & Abaray, P.A. aggressively pursue accident injury cases throughout the state of Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, truck accident, slip and fall accident, or have suffered any type of injury because of someone else's negligence, call 1-863-669-9999 today for a free consultation.

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5835 U.S. Highway 98 South   Lakeland, Florida 33812   Toll Free: 877-669-6899   Ph: (863) 669-9999   Fax: (863) 669-0699