If you have reached the point where you want to divorce, the idea of walking away from your spouse and never needing to talk to them again is probably pretty appealing. For those who share children with their spouse, it is also a fantasy.

Most families facing a pending divorce will have situations that lead to shared custody solutions. In Florida, shared custody is known as time sharing. The average couple facing a divorce will most likely have to share parenting time.

The divorce process for these families usually involves the creation of a parenting plan that outlines when each parent will have time with the children, where the children will stay and the other obligations that each parent takes up, like the payment of health insurance premiums on behalf of the children.

What kinds of situations might lead to one parent getting sole custody?

While time sharing is the most common and preferred outcome in a divorce involving minor children, there are absolutely situations where the courts will deviate from that. The most important consideration in all custody matters will be the best interests of the children involved.

Those best interests most often include spending time with both parents regularly. However, if one parent poses a threat of harm or has an incredibly unstable or unhealthy lifestyle, the courts may consider that when making their custody decision. Drug addiction, alcoholism, a history of domestic violence or even mental health issues could all potentially lead to one parent having substantially less parenting time or possibly only visitation. It’s also possible that one parent doesn’t ask for custody.

Is time sharing always a 50/50 situation?

Shared custody does not always mean equally-split parenting time. Instead, the courts will try to create a solution that works for your family’s needs and schedules. If one parent works significantly more than the other or travels for their job, it’s possible that the other spouse will have more parenting time.

Asserting that you want as much time and parental authority as possible during the divorce is the first step toward protecting your relationship with your children and securing a positive outcome for your divorce.