Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Are 50-50 timesharing schedules standard in Florida? Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes does not contain a presumption that equal timesharing is in the best interest of a child. Timesharing is determined based on many factors such as the child’s routine, the parents’ work schedules, whether or not third party caretakers will be involved in the care of the child, and many more factors. When the parties agree to a 50-50 timesharing schedule, is the court required to find it is in the best interest of a child before ratifying the agreement by court order?

In the case Daniels v. Caparello, 1D17-2718 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the mother appealed an order ratifying her agreed-upon equal timesharing schedule partly because the court did not make an explicit finding that the timesharing schedule was in the best interest of the child. The mother did not raise this issue with the trial court directly or via a motion for reconsideration.

While usually it is error for a court to fail to find that a parenting plan is in the best interest of a child, here, where the mother agreed to the schedule being ratified and she did not raise this issue with the trial court when the order was signed (either before or after), the appellate court found it was not fundamental error for the trial court to omit the best finding ruling.

It appears the mother wanted to set aside the timesharing schedule, but once a parenting plan is signed, it is more than likely going to be upheld just as any other contract would be. This is why it is important to review your parenting plan in-full with your lawyer prior to signing to be sure it is what you want for your children. Contact a Miami child custody lawyer to set your consultation today to go over your best options.