Time-Sharing in Florida: What Are You Supposed to Do?
Updated: Jul 20, 2018
Time-sharing, formerly known as visitation, is the new phrase used in family law cases today to describe the time you have with your child. A parenting plan is a document that attorneys use to specify the time-sharing schedule, and further explain your duties and rights as a parent. The State of Florida has made it clear, that it is the public policy of this State to encourage frequent contact between a child and each parent. This is not an easy thing to do when you are in the throes of litigation and you cannot bear your ex-spouse or partner.
The following tips will help you during your time-sharing and will help you make your children the number one priority during the trying times of time-sharing.
What Are You Supposed To Do as a Parent?
Make your children feel comfortable and maintain your bond.
Children are sponges and they pick up on the littlest of things. When you have time with your children, plan things to do that allow them to continue to keep the innocence of their childhood as much as possible. Spend time with them and listen to them. This does not mean putting them in front of the TV while you are in another room, or sending them to Grandmas. This is your time to show your children how much you love them, and that the children are your number one priority.
Do not share divorce related matters with the children.
You might have a very strong bond with your child and think you can share some of the emotions and frustrations of your divorce or modification proceedings—don’t do this. The courts want to know that the children will be protected from hearing about litigation issues, and your “openness” with your child might have legal ramifications for you. In order to get the children acclimated to the new time-sharing schedule, and if they are old enough, you might want to purchase a family calendar to put the days on the calendar for them to see. Helping them plan for their new time-sharing schedule might help ease some of their anxiousness about spending time away from one parent or another.
Do not be angry in front of the children.
Only you can control how you react to someone. They might get under your skin, they might know exactly which buttons to push, or quite simply they may no longer care about how you react to their behavior anymore. When the children are around you, whether it be during pick ups or drop offs, do not raise your voice, do not pick a fight, and above all else do not be angry in front of the children. You are their safe place—make them believe it.
Respect the Time-Sharing Schedule with the other parent.
Your time-sharing is just as important as that of your former partner or spouse. Do as you would want done to you, and respect the times set aside for time-sharing. Respect the common curtesy of a phone call when you are running late, and respect your child’s right to see and love both parents.
Time-Sharing/Visitation and Parenting Plans that work for each family are some of the most difficult areas of family law. If you need help with enforcing, creating, or modifying a time-sharing schedule that works for you, contact Brusca Law by calling 407-501-6564 or by filling out the contact form on our home page.