As a parent, you will likely have concerns about how much time you will spend with your children after your divorce. You may be seeking joint custody. Yet, you may not know whether this will give you and your spouse equal time with your children. In some cases, it may, though it depends on your family’s unique circumstances.
Common custody arrangements
Moving forward with a 50-50 custody arrangement may depend on whether you can work it around your children’s schooling and activities. It is also easier to do if you and your spouse will live close to each other after your divorce. A 50-50 arrangement may be unworkable, though, if it conflicts with your children’s current schedules, or if you and your spouse will live far apart. It may also be challenging if one of you has a demanding job, or if you two have issues communicating and cooperating with each other.
When parents cannot make a 50-50 custody arrangement work, they often opt for a 60-40 arrangement as an alternative. This will still qualify as joint custody, since both you and your spouse will spend substantial time with your children. Whichever of you ends up being the non-majority parent, though, will pay more in child support due to the unequal division of time-sharing.
Exceptions to keep in mind
Florida courts generally favor custody arrangements that give both parents substantial time with their children. Yet, you or your spouse could receive sole custody if the other has a history of abuse, substance abuse, neglect or criminal activity. In these cases, whichever of you is your children’s non-majority parent could spend as little as 10%, 20% or 30% of your time with them. Even then, this time may be supervised or subject to certain restrictions.
While you may hope to split custody 50-50 after your divorce, your top priority must be making sure this arrangement is best for your children. An attorney can help you work out a schedule that makes sense for your family’s needs.