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Protecting the Interests of Clients & Families Throughout Orange & Seminole Counties

Common Timesharing Arrangements in Seminole County


Modern American family law probably began in 1969, when then-Governor Ronald Reagan signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce law. Some people speculate that Reagan’s own painful split from actress Jane Wyman, who obtained a divorce based on cruel treatment, may have influenced his decision.

The California family law revolution continued a few years later, when state lawmakers approved the nation’s first joint custody law.

So, when today’s parents divorce, they benefit from fifty years of experience with regard to parenting time arrangements. Florida law is rather flexible in this area. Therefore, a Maitland child custody attorney can fashion an arrangement that best suits the family’s needs. Many times, this process includes not only the parents’ attorneys, but also an attorney ad litem who represents the childrens’ interests.

Traditional Timeshare Arrangements

Florida, like California and other states, also has a joint custody law. This law usually gives both parents input into important decisions, like where the children will go to school, and also gives both parents physical access to the children. However, it does not always divide physical custody on a 50-50 basis.

Since the 1970s, the every-other-weekend and every-other-holiday division has worked very well for families in Florida and elsewhere. The schedule is very predictable. Furthermore, this plan requires little interaction between mother and father. That’s a significant advantage if bad feelings linger after the divorce, and they often do.

But the plan is not perfect. This schedule usually results in children spending about 70 percent of their time with the residential parent. Some research indicates that the unequal parenting time division is not very healthy for children. Additionally, this unequal division makes many fathers feel more like activity planners and less like parents.

Sometimes, minor tweaks, such as unlimited electronic communication, addresses these issues. Other times, however, a more radical solution may be in order.

New Developments in Timesharing Plans

The empty nest arrangement began in California and worked its way east. In a nutshell, the parents shuttle back and forth between different residences, and the children always remain in the same place.

This plan’s stability significantly benefits the children. However, it only works if the parents get along well.

Block scheduling may be an option as well. For example, the children spend two weeks with Parent A, two weeks with Parent B, and then the cycle repeats. The schedule remains the same year-round, aside from accommodations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and maybe one or two other occasions.

This schedule is much more predictable than the traditional one. Furthermore, both the residential and non-residential custodians feel like parents. This arrangement obviously only works if the parents live in the same city, and probably in the same neighborhood.

Some families combine elements of the empty nest and block schedule to create their own unique parenting plan. If the plan becomes unworkable, either party may file a subsequent motion to modify.

Reach Out to a Forward-Thinking Lawyer

Traditional timesharing plans are sometimes best, but not always best. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Maitland children’s rights attorney, contact The Troum Law Firm, P.A. After-hours visits are available, by appointment.


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