In Florida, child custody is called time sharing. How much time will each parent share with the child? The term “custodial parent” is no longer used in court. Whoever has the majority of time with the child is simply that – the parent with the majority of time sharing.
That being said, courts look for the best interests of the child when determining with whom the child should spend the majority of their time. Many factors come into play here, such as the demonstrated ability of the parent to provide adequate care for the child, the moral fitness of the parent, the mental and physical health of the parent, and so on. In the end, arguing over the time sharing with the child will take its toll. It is better to agree as best you can as opposed to leaving the fate of the case in the hands of a Judge – not because the Judge is incompetent, but because you (as the child’s parents) are in the best position to decide what is best for the child (because you have the most information – more than the lawyers or the Judge).
The bottom line is money. Whoever has the majority of the time sharing typically gets child support from the other. Money should never be put before the child’s best interests. But it is important to understand in advance that giving the majority of time with the child to the other parent may result in you having to pay them money each month. How much is different in each case and is based on Florida’s Child Support Guidelines.
Are you looking to Petition for Paternity, visit our How to Establish Paternity page. Or to learn more about your child custody case and what we think the likely outcome will be, call us today.