The Effect of Covid-19 on Time-Sharing Agreements

In this article, we will discuss how time-sharing agreements have been affected by Covid-19 and what can be done moving forward to limit disagreements in the wake of the pandemic.

The concept of time-sharing exists in Florida to reduce the confusion surrounding the “custody” of a minor child and the various complexities that arise out of deciding how the child should spend time with each parent. Florida Statute 61.13 (3) best interest factors are used to decide the time-sharing schedule that each parent will have with their child. These time-sharing schedules are then written into a Parenting Plan and filed with the court so that each parent has a clear understanding of their time-sharing schedule with the child. 

Covid-19 and the Impact on Time-Sharing

Even with time-sharing agreements, parents may disagree over certain measures that need to be taken to raise their child according to the child’s best interest. This is bound to give rise to disputes between well-meaning parents that need to be settled for the well-being of the family. These settlements usually take time depending on the willingness of the parties to co-parent. However, due to Covid-19, there has been a pressing need to settle time- sharing disputes quickly so that the child does not experience any difficulties missing time with one parent or transitioning between the homes of both parents.

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the risks of getting the disease and transmission have rendered the frequent exchange of the child difficult in some circumstances and so parents are encouraged to work together peacefully and to be flexible to accommodate each other and the child if members of either household contract the virus.

A parent cannot on their own modify a court-ordered time-sharing agreement if they cannot come to a resolution. Both parents are legally bound by the agreement, until any further modifications by a court or agreement occur between the parties. Thus, to ensure that the child remains safe, they must try to come to a temporary time-sharing agreement to modify the pre-pandemic agreement as a stopgap measure before seeking court action. If one parent unilaterally interferes with another parent’s time-sharing without first coming to an agreement either informally or formally, then contempt of court could be used as a remedy to gain back make-up timesharing.

Please contact us today if you and the other parent are having difficulty with time-sharing due to Covid-19.

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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