Unmarried biological parents may not automatically receive shared child custody rights in Florida. Even if you never married your child’s biological mother, however, you may have an option to obtain shared custody as though you divorced through a court order.
In the Sunshine State, both parents have the right to live with and share time with their children. As noted by the Florida Department of Revenue, if you create a parenting time plan, the court may allow shared custody and also consider reducing your financial support payments.
Create and agree on a parenting time plan
When two parents live near each other, a parenting time plan arrangement may offer convenience while it also helps to share child care costs. Among other issues, the plan you create and agree upon may proactively defuse future disagreements by outlining the overnight stay and holiday season schedule.
As noted by the American Psychological Association, children sharing time with both parents have a better sense of self-esteem and fewer emotional and behavioral issues. Parents benefit also; if your work requires traveling, you may create a schedule so your child stays with his or her mother while you travel. Your child can then stay with you when you work locally or from home.
Communicate and cooperate with your child’s mother
Regular and open communication between a child’s parents may help foster a more positive and nurturing childhood environment. According to Healthline.com, remaining focused on your child’s needs when you create a shared living arrangement may make it easier to discuss medical treatment, education and religion.
Unlike a court-ordered visitation schedule, a parenting time plan may allow you to take a more active role in your child’s life. A parenting time plan may provide both regular contact with your child and a reduction in your child-rearing costs.