Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
Is there such thing as regular visitation in Florida and what does guideline visitation mean? Time-sharing has replaced term visitation in Florida and primary time-sharing parent has taken the place of custodial parent. So, with visitation having changed does that mean that visitation guidelines have disappeared? In some jurisdictions, such as Duval County, Florida, the guidelines exist for purposes of assisting with a time-sharing plan, but are no longer the standard used by the court.
Jacksonville is located in the 4th Judicial Circuit, which means that those guidelines still help lay a foundation for the standard, but are no longer court ordered guidelines when the parents cannot agree on a time-sharing plan. What the guidelines suggest is that the primary time-sharing parent have the child the majority of the time and the non-residential parent have the child once per week, typically on Wednesday, from the time school gets out until around 8 p.m. and every-other weekend from Friday when school gets out until 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. Holidays alternate by years, such as on parent will have time-sharing on Thanksgiving in even-numbered years and Christmas in odd-numbered years. Summers are generally split where each parent has one-half of summer and during that time the primary time-sharing parent goes on the same time schedule as the other parent has during the year.
If you are looking for a standard to apply to a time-sharing plan this is one that provides for flexibility because it was designed to be the “minimum” amount of time-sharing by the non-primary time-sharing parent. However, if you and the other parent can agree on a separate plan, then that can be incorporated into your time-sharing and parenting plan. If you have concerns about time-sharing and know that you and the other parent do not agree, then a parenting coordinator may be necessary. You should speak to an experienced lawyer in order to better understand your rights and options regarding time-sharing and other issues.