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Family law courts in Florida don’t use the terms “custody and visitation” to describe child sharing arrangements anymore. They prefer to call it “time-sharing.” If you haven’t established time-sharing rights regarding your children, and the other parent is unwilling to give them to you voluntarily, you may need to file a child custody case to assert your parental rights in court.

When establishing your time-sharing rights, there are three primary components that the court will consider:

— Time-sharing: Time-sharing involves which parent the child will physically be staying with, and when. The parent with majority time-sharing has the child the majority of the time. If parents share the child equally, it will be called equal time-sharing.

— Decision-making: Decision-making refers to which parent will make decisions about the child’s upbringing, medical care, religion, schooling, etc. This is called legal custody.

— The child’s best interests: When determining issues relating to time-sharing and decision-making, the court will make its decisions based on the best interests of the child. The evaluate best interests, the court will look at all the facts and circumstances surrounding the child’s needs and the parents’ abilities to take care of those needs.

Florida mothers and fathers who may be embroiled in a child custody dispute will want to take the matter seriously. After all, a child custody suit could go in your favor, or it might not go in your favor and result in you spending less time than you’d hoped with your child. You may, therefore, wish to contract the services of a Florida family law firm, such as the Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, PA, to advocate for and protect your parental rights in court.