Timesharing Dos And Don’ts
Under F.S. 61.13, the public policy in Florida is that children have continuing and frequent contact with both their parents after a separation or divorce. In Florida, after parents separate or divorce, the court will order them to share parental rights and responsibilities unless such an arrangement is detrimental to the child. Usually, a timesharing schedule is set forth, which stipulates the time a child will spend with each parent. Timesharing, no longer referred to as visitation, helps a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Timesharing is also critical to parents after a separation or divorce. It helps parents maintain a sense of connectedness with their children. However, for timesharing to work, parents must cooperate and follow some basic dos and don’ts.
What Are the Dos of Timesharing?
After parents separate or divorce, the following are some basic dos they should follow to achieve parenting goals.
Be on Time
If you tell your child you will pick him or her up or visit at a particular time, make sure you live up to your word. This will help relieve stress for your child. It will help your child adjust to you and the other parent living in different homes.
Make Timesharing a Normal Part of Life
During timesharing, engage in activities that can provide you and your child a chance to build your relationship. However, timesharing should not be all about fun. You should create a balance between fun and responsibility.
Be Flexible With Scheduling
For example, you should know that your child may have plans that could interfere with your timesharing schedule. If your child has other plans, do not get upset. Instead, try to work out an arrangement that can work for both of you.
Respect the Other Parent
For instance, let your child’s other parent know if your schedule changes. This will make the process a lot easier.
What Are the Don’ts of Timesharing?
The following are some of the don’ts of timesharing.
Don’t Use Your Child to Communicate for You
You should not use your child to pass messages on issues such as child support to the other parent. Communicate with your child’s other parent. Children should not be involved in adult matters.
Don’t Disrupt the Relationship Your Child Has With the Other Parent
For example, avoid making your child feel guilty for spending time with his or her other parent. Do not tell your child that you will feel lonely if he or she spends time with his or her other parent.
Do Not Buy Your Child’s Loyalty and Love
You should not bribe your child. You should not allow your child to blackmail you by refusing timesharing unless you buy him or her something. Additionally, do not be solely a friend to your child and not discipline him or her. Your child needs you as a friend but mostly as a parent.
Don’t Disrespect the Other Parent’s or Your Child’s Time
It is understandable to reschedule parenting time once in a while. But don’t make it a habit. Regularly rescheduling parenting time makes a parent look like he or she is not serious about parenting his or her child.
Contact a Jacksonville Family Lawyer
If you need help with establishing, modifying, and enforcing appropriate time-sharing arrangements, contact our Jacksonville family lawyers at The Lasky Law Firm.