When a custody agreement is made, most of the time the parents are permitted to share custody of the children. However, in some situations, one parent is not given custodial rights and is instead only given visitation rights. In Florida, visitation is known as time sharing. Florida courts generally agree that parents should have the right to see their children, even if they don’t have the opportunity to live with them. This is typically the case when the court can’t grant shared custody because one parent is deemed “unfit,” meaning that if they had custody of the child, the child may end up in a dangerous situation. A parent can be deemed unfit if they have been convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor or higher of domestic violence would be grounds to determine the child would be detrimentally affected if they had a relationship with that parent. If the parent has been convicted of a crime of this nature, they will not have any say in decisions made about the child.
If the custodial parent refuses to cooperate with the time-sharing plan, the non-custodial parent will be given the opportunity to have extra time with the child on top of making up any time that was missed. There may also be a number of other punishments imposed by the court onto the custodial parent if they deny the other parent scheduled time with the child.
Child custody and other family law matters can be handled in mediation as well as in court. If you have questions about time-sharing agreements in Florida, it would be beneficial to speak with an experienced family law attorney or mediator to discuss your options.
Judith Goldberg is an experienced Boca Raton mediator serving Palm Beach and Broward County, Florida. If you need a compassionate mediator to guide you through your family law matter, contact our Boca Raton office for a free consultation.