When most people think of child custody, they probably automatically assume that the mother has custody of the children and that the father sees the children every other weekend or some sort of similar arrangement. While that might be the typical stereotype of child custody, the tides might be changing. Last year, Governor Scott vetoed a bill in Florida that included shared parenting. However, the concept of shared parenting seems to be increasing in popularity with lawmakers in some states.
The concept of shared parenting is one that likely puts the child's best interests at the forefront of the child custody agreement. It allows children to spend equal amounts of time with both parents. Advocates for shared parenting oppose child custody laws that favor one parent unless there is a history of substance abuse or abuse. Opponents of shared parenting maintain that judges should have the flexibility to determine what arrangement is in the child's best interest.
One person who has seen shared parenting recently passed in her state says that there hasn't been enough time yet to see what the new law will do. In that state, the law, which states that children should have "approximate and reasonable equal division of time" between parents, reversed an earlier law that stated joint custody wasn't a favored outcome for child custody.
When a divorce includes children, it is vital that the parents do what is best for the children in regards to child custody. Consulting with a Florida family law professional can help you to understand exactly what specific child custody agreements entail, so you can petition the court to make the decisions you feel are in your child's best interests.
Source: Florida Today, "Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome" Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 28, 2014