The Florida Legislature recently enacted a law abolishing the concept of "primary" and "intermediate" child custody and the concept of "access". The court system is overwhelmed, and parents must not only fight against families whose minors spend most of their lives in their homes, but also who should have the title of primary guardian. Many people think that if they are considered “secondary” guardians, they are also second-class parents. In addition, many are dissatisfied that they must “visit” their children instead of living or spending time with their relatives. To help parents avoid controversy, the Florida legislature adopted the concept of “time-sharing” to replace the old one or the other.
The Florida Legislature has also modified and expanded the factors that the court must consider when determining time-sharing issues. The most important concern remains the child's best interests. There are now 20 factors to consider, some of which are as follows:
· The ability of each parent to have a close relationship with his or her son or daughter;
· The ability of each parent to cooperate with each other;
· All parties can meet the needs of children according to their own needs;
·How parental responsibility may be divided when the divorce is finalized;
• Whether any party needs some kind of day care during his/her time-sharing plan;
· How long does a minor live in a stable home;
· will soon live with former spouses and youth schools;
· How does the young man perform at school;
· How well each spouse knows about academic and extracurricular activities;
· Whether the parties participate in minor school or extracurricular activities;
· Each party provides the child with the ability to perform daily work;
· Whether each parent is morally appropriate;
· The physical and mental health of all parties;
· preferences of minors;
· Is there any domestic violence or other abuse or neglect;
· Whether any party mistakenly blames the other party for abuse;
· Each spouse’s responsibility for the son or daughter has been submitted before the divorce petition is filed;
· Whether any party has exposed alcohol or drugs to adolescents;
· Whether the parties defend the son or daughter in the divorce proceedings;
· Each parent has the ability to meet the child's current and future development needs; and
· Any other relevant content that the court considers.
To see the full text of the new regulations, see Section 61.13 of the Florida Code.
The court may give each factor different weights depending on the specific circumstances of the specific case. If you have questions about the factors that may apply to your case, be sure to consult a lawyer with family law experience.