November 7, 2021

The Most Common Timesharing and Custody Errors in Florida

The timesharing plan is almost always the most contentious topic in a child-related divorce. Following a divorce or separation, the majority of Florida courts prefer that children spend as much time as possible with both parents unless one parent is ruled unfit or otherwise incapable of doing so. According to Florida Statute 61.13, minor children should have “frequent and continuous contact” with both parents throughout a divorce or separation. Furthermore, the legislation states that “no presumption exists in favor of or against” any parent or timesharing arrangement.

Certain behaviors, however, can impair your prospects of acquiring custody or negotiating a good timesharing arrangement during a child custody fight. Now, let’s go over the most common errors to avoid while dealing with Florida custody and timesharing difficulties.

Making Yourself a Priority

The best interests of the child are always prioritized under Florida law. For this reason, prioritizing your personal interests over theirs may endanger your chance to obtain an appropriate timesharing arrangement. This means that the court will be unconcerned about your specific timesharing arrangement as decisions will be made for the benefit of your child. 

Excluding Your Spouse in Custody Arrangements

Florida courts believe that regular contact with both parents serves the child’s best interests. Denying visits or alienating the other parent may result in the court deeming that parent unfit for custody and reducing or removing parenting rights. Establishing and maintaining a mutually beneficial timesharing arrangement in Florida necessitates great co-parenting.

Inciting Domestic Violence

Divorce leading to conflicts can be exceedingly volatile. Related allegations, or worse, convictions, can have a substantial influence on a parent’s timesharing and custody rights. For this reason, the accused spouse must demonstrate to the court that they are competent of parenthood. By maintaining a calm disposition, you avoid engaging in violent circumstances in which your spouse can accuse you of domestic abuse.

Engaging in Substance Abuse

When one parent accuses the other of abusing substances, the accused parent should not be hesitant to defend himself or herself. When minor children are involved in a divorce, Florida courts take allegations of parental intoxication or drug misuse very seriously. To avoid being falsely implicated by your ex-spouse, you must refrain from using alcohol or other illicit substances in front of your children before, during, or after your court case.

Moving Locations with Children

Many parents make the fatal mistake of relocating with their children while their divorce is pending. Florida Statute 61.13001 prevents a parent from relocating their children more than 50 miles away without a court order or the consent of the other parent. It takes effect when either parent files a divorce petition in Florida and could have disastrous ramifications when this law is dismissed.


Divorce is difficult to begin with, and the situation gets even more complicated when children are involved. As a responsible parent, you must keep in mind that your child is the priority. Keep these common errors in mind and avoid them at all costs. Even better, think of ways to actively participate in an amicable relationship with your spouse. With simple communication, all sides win.

It’s important to settle matters with your spouse for your child’s future. If you’re ready to make decisive steps regarding timesharing and custody errors, seek help from our top Jacksonville attorneys at Dorsey Law JAX’s pool of reliable lawyers. Call us now at (904) 394-2865.


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