Are You Entitled to Equal Timesharing?

In years past, there was a legal presumption against equal timesharing or what used to be called rotating custody. Florida family law courts faced with the responsibility of making custody decisions in divorce or paternity cases were not likely to order equal or rotating custody. New legislation in 2008 did away with that legal presumption and today courts are more likely to order equal custody or timesharing as part of an overall parenting plan. For the court to order equal timesharing it must first find that such a parenting plan is in the best interest of the child. Florida family law cases have given some guidance as to when equal timesharing is in the best interest of the child.

You are more likely to get equal timesharing if your child is older and more mature or if your child has expressed a preference for equal timesharing. If you live near the other parent or if your child hasn't yet started to school, equal timesharing might be appropriate. Equal timesharing should not be disruptive but should be related to the child's schedule and should result in reasonable periods of time with each parent. Days with one parent and nights with the other would probably not be in the child's best interest. The court may consider these and other factors in determining whether equal timesharing is in your child's best interest.