If you are in the process of a divorce and you have children, timesharing will need to be discussed, and a parenting plan created to determine who the child(ren) will stay with, how often, who will take care of the child(ren) while you are working. The State of Florida starts with the presumption that it is in the child’s best interest for the child to reside with both parents equally, unless either parent resides in another state. The presumption is rebuttable.

Understanding Child Custody and the Context of Employment

Let’s begin with a fact: just because you are working more does not automatically mean you have less timesharing rights. Depending on the judge, if you work a 24-hour shift and the child(ren) is/are scheduled on your work day to stay overnight, you may simply need to offer the child(ren) to the other parent during your 24-hour shift, but this will not count against you for timesharing purposes. Some Judges, may not take this view, and you can have your own child care provider assist while you work.

A court of law will focus on what is best for the child.  If you travel quite frequently for work and cannot have the child overnight due to your work schedule, then your ability to have equal timesharing will be affected.  The court will consider all kinds of factors, including but not limited to, your work schedule, your ability to provide a stable environment, moral fitness.

The Child’s Best Interest Standard

In any child custody case, the court is tasked with reviewing statutory factors outline under Florida Statute 61.13.

If your work schedule conflicts with your ability to parent and you fail to exercise your timesharing as agreed under the parenting plan this may force the other parent to seek a modification in the timesharing plan and request more child support against you based on, he/she having the child for a longer period of time. Parties can agree to modify the parenting plan without court intervention if both parties are in agreement and if so, it should be deduced in writing and signed by both parties before a notary. To legitimize the agreement if needed, the parties could seek a modification by agreement from the court.

Income and Seeking More Child Custody

A higher income does not immediately mean that you are guaranteed more timesharing.  Financial superiority is not dispositive to determining a child’s best interest. As long as each parent has suitable accommodations and stable housing the court is not concerned with how deep your pockets are.

Seeking legal advice and representation is important and should not be taken lightly. A parenting plan cannot be easily modified once entered, unless by agreement of the parties. Its important to get it right the first time and hire an experienced attorney who can draft one for you while keeping the child’s best interest in mind.

Contact our team today at Dadan Law Firm and let’s discuss your situation. We have years of experience handling family law cases in the greater Fort Pierce, West Palm Beach, and Vero Beach areas of Florida and can help you navigate your child custody situation. Give us a call today at (772) 579-2771 to learn more about our services regarding timesharing.