Divorce - Parenting Plan and Time Sharing (a.k.a Custody)
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Dissolution of marriage actions where the parties have minor children in common requires the Court to reestablish a Parenting Plan and Time Sharing Schedule. Florida Statute 61.13 provides a lengthy list of "factors" the Court must consider when creating a Parenting Plan and Time Sharing schedule. When creating or modifying a Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing Schedule, the Judge will consider all of the factors provided in Florida Statute 61.13, and based on the evidence presented, will create a Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing Schedule that the Court believes is in the child or children's best interests. In many cases, the Court's Order will list each factor and will state which parent the Court believed each factor favored.
The Court applies the statutory factors to the evidence presented at the final hearing to arrive at its final decision. Evidence is a complex and important topic. During a child custody hearing only testimony, documents, and other forms of evidence that are permissible by the rules of evidence, may be considered by the Court. This means that you may want to show or tell the Court something, but you may be prevented from doing so because you did not comply with the rules of evidence. Preparing and organizing your evidence, including but not limited to, ensuring it complies with the rules of evidence and anticipating any evidentiary objections, will play a big part in your chances for a successful result in your child custody case.
A collateral result of most child custody hearings is the establishment of child support on a go forward and retroactive basis. Child support is calculated by applying the formula provided in Florida Statute 61.30. Generally, child support is calculated using both parents respective incomes, the number of overnights the child or children spend with each respective parent, the cost of health insurance premiums, and the cost of child care. There are many on-line Florida Child Support calculators that may give you a general idea of what the child support obligation may be in your specific case.
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