Practical Timesharing Solutions in a Changing Environment
Spring 2020 coronavirus restrictions might be ending, but the changes this virus wrought might have been permanent. These changes include the way we work and the way families interact with one another. Traditional habits, such as 9-to-5 workdays and every-other-weekend timesharing arrangements, might be on the way out. In many cases, these changes were already happening, and coronavirus simply moved up the timetable.
A good Port St. Lucie divorce attorney changes with the times as well. Parenting time divisions which worked well a few years ago might no longer be in the best interests of the children or sustainable on a practical level. Some innovative solutions are gaining popularity in this area. One of them might be right for your family.
Co-Parenting Changes to Florida’s Family Laws
Florida decision-makers recently enacted a co-parenting law. Most other states have similar laws as well. These measures are the latest development in family law changes.
A hundred years ago, women had few financial and legal rights. As a result, divorced fathers almost always received full custody of their children. The pendulum swung the other way around World War II. Because of the tender years doctrine, divorced mothers almost always received full custody of their children. Joint custody laws, a compromise of sorts, first emerged in the 1970s.
Co-parenting is the next step. Florida law now allows, and expects, both parents to actively participate in the child development process. To reflect this new reality, some parenting time factors have changed as well. Some new additions include:
- Parental Preference: The child’s preference has been relevant in this area since the 1970s. Today, the parent’s preference is relevant as well. Frequently, parents express their preferences indirectly. If one parent took little interest in music recitals and other events during the marriage, well, a leopard usually does not change its spots.
- Parental Disposition: Residential parents, the preferred term for custodial parents, must enable co-parenting. So, if a parent was intransigent and uncooperative during divorce proceedings, it’s safe to assume the parent will continue to behave this way after the divorce. Inflexibility is generally not a good quality in a residential parent.
- Parental Involvement: This factor is related to the first one discussed above. Parents who are engaged with the children emotionally, educationally, socially, and in other ways typically make effective co-parent leaders.
Attorneys must be mindful of these and other factors during court hearings and negotiation sessions. Legal arguments which center on key parenting time factors usually resonate with judges. And, if an out-of-court settlement is inconsistent with key factors, a judge might reject it.
Parenting Time Arrangements in a Post-Coronavirus World
Generally, the less people travel, the safer they are, in terms of their heath. As a result, the empty nest parenting time model is gaining popularity in Florida.
Typically, the children move back and forth between their parents’ residences. In the empty nest arrangement, the children always stay in the same place, which is usually the marital residence. The parents move back and forth as per the every-other-weekend visitation schedule. Empty nest arrangements often benefit the children. They sleep in the same bed every night and follow roughly the same routine every day.
This model obviously only works in limited cases. For example, the parents must have at least a cordial relationship.
Block scheduling might work as well. This model decreases back-and-forth movement and also evens the parenting time distribution. Children spend a week or two with Parent A, a week or two with Parent B, and then the cycle repeats.
Once again, this model only works in limited cases. Typically, the parents must live in the same town, and probably in the same area of town.
Connect with an Experienced Lawyer
Innovative co-patenting solutions are available for today’s families. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.