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Child timesharing (sometimes called child custody) is one of the most sensitive and emotional issues in a divorce. Even a couple working through the end of their marriage with relatively few problems can hit a snag when it comes to the care of their children. In ideal situations, both couples want to do what is best for their kids – they are just unable to agree on what that is. When a situation is less than ideal, parents sometimes use their children against one another and create the worst possible situation.

One of the toughest challenges when it comes to timesharing is accepting that despite the end of the marriage, the parenting relationship will not stop. You must learn to work together with your former spouse to ensure your children grow up in a loving and supportive – albeit divorced – family. The groundwork for this is laid during the divorce process, through the creation of a parenting plan and timesharing arrangement.

Timesharing Issues

Timesharing issues also touch on so many other issues involved in a divorce, such as the division of financial assets and living arrangements. The goal should be to keep a child’s life as consistent as possible, but change is inevitable when parents split up. Minimizing the emotional turmoil a child faces during this time is essential.

Other issues that can arise during a divorce include:

  • Enforcement of timesharing agreement
  • Managing rights of grandparents and other significant non-parental individuals in a child’s life
  • Relocating with or without your child

Today, the court does its best, and expects parents to do the same, to protect the rights of both parents and to do what is best for the child. Often, a shared parenting scenario is created. When this is not possible, one parent will be given the responsibility for making most of the important decisions in a child’s life, including issues related to education, medical needs, social activities, and religion. The other parent still has the right to spend time with his or her child, but will not need to be consulted before certain important decisions are made.

If the court determines shared parenting could harm a child, it will issue sole custody to one parent. In extreme cases, the parent without sole custody will be granted visits that are supervised, either by the custodial parent or someone from a child welfare agency. The goal is to protect the child, both physically and emotionally, while also allowing the parent and the child to form a bond despite the challenges.

The Parenting Plan

The parenting plan is the legal document that governs the care of a child of divorced, as well as never-married parents. It includes issues related to child rearing and decision-making authority. It also addresses how concerns will be addressed and how parents should communicate about issues related to their child.

In addition to governing the relationships parents must share, parenting plans also address specific issues about the parent-child relationship. It will feature a schedule of time each parent has the right to and is obligated to spend with his or her child. It also specifies when and how parents and children should communicate. Most parenting plans even address the technology that will be used for parent-child communication.

What If I Think My Spouse is a Bad Parent?

It’s important you share any concerns about your child’s safety and well-being regarding your soon-to-be-former spouse with your attorney and with the court. Remember, your concerns are subjective, but it is within reason to expect the court to investigate any serious issues you raise.

Florida law requires both parents to attend a parenting course before their divorce is finalized. Parents and children should not view these classes as punishment. They are intended to educate families and help them transition from being a married family to a divorced family. The classes can also put your mind at ease concerning any shortcomings of your spouse in his or her role as a parent.

Protecting your children during your divorce is likely your most important priority. We understand how important your child’s well-being is and we will do everything we can to ease this transition for your child. For more information or to discuss your divorce and how it could affect your children with an attorney, contact The Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 or use the online contact form.

Call (813) 254-5696 anytime, or use this contact form, for your free initial consultation.
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