How your child’s age may affect time-sharing arrangements

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Time Sharing and Child Custody

Divorce severs ties between partners, but it should never cut the ties between a child and their parents. In fact, Florida public policy requires divorced parents to continue being present for their children. A parenting plan spells out their responsibilities and schedules for time sharing.

Taking your child’s age into consideration

You and your ex may create a parenting plan for the court to approve. If you can’t agree, the court will set the parenting plan based on the best interests of your child.

When coming up with a time-sharing schedule, there are suggested psychological inputs to consider about your child’s age:

  • Infant (from birth to 1 year): They should experience consistency from parents as much as possible. Too many disruptions in time sharing may make the infant feel afraid and anxious.
  • Toddler (1 to 2 years): The time-sharing setup should remain routinary. They are too young to express their feelings, so they might show discomfort when there are changes.
  • Preschooler (3 to 5 years): Time sharing must continue to be reliable. At this point, you should explain to them why changes sometimes happen.
  • Elementary school kid (6 to 11 years): Schedule adjustments may take place due to your child’s extracurriculars. You and your ex should give way to your child’s interests while balancing your time sharing.
  • Adolescent (12 to 18 years): They might want to spend more time with their friends and significant other at this stage. It’s important to maintain your presence and authority while allowing your child to be more independent.

Your child’s varying needs are among the accepted reasons for modifying the time-sharing order. You may cite their extracurriculars, updated school schedule or medical needs. Other reasons for modification include changes in a parent’s work schedule and relocation.

Providing continued guidance and support

As your child ages, you should guide them closely while they deal with divorce-related challenges. A parenting plan centered on your child’s welfare could make them feel your continued support during their developmental stages.