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How long do parenting time agreements generally take to be agreed upon or settled?

  • By: Andrew Merlo
  • Published: October 15, 2018

Battles over timesharing with the children can be some of the ugliest fights that I am involved in as a divorce litigator. Some parents insist on exactly fifty-fifty everything. Anything less, no matter how slight, is a deal breaker and it is over. They will fight till the last penny. They will fight with their last ounce of energy and their last breath to get fifty-fifty. Under those circumstances, it is going to be a battle till the end that may take more than a year (or years) to conclude. There is not supposed to be a presumption in favor of moms or dads in Florida when it comes to custody. Statutorily it is supposed to be exactly equal. However, courts do like maintaining the status quo, meaning they like continuing what has been working for a family. For example, say mom is taking care of most of the responsibilities regarding children and the parents are fine with keeping that arrangement. These parents are in agreement to an unequal timesharing arrangement or they are happy with what is called the Palm Beach model schedule of time-sharing, which is not equal.

If people can come to an agreement or an understanding, a resolution of the time sharing, the cases can settle rather quickly. Once the time-sharing schedule is put in place, we can then calculate the amount of child support. As far as time sharing, any case can be done on an uncontested basis through very quick settlement when the people are communicating well and acting mature. However, you are fighting over children and many people will fight until they can’t fight any longer. It is maybe not the wisest decision, but it is the decision many spouses make. You might not even be the one making that decision. You might be on the opposite end and if so, you have to defend.

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