Negotiating a good visitation schedule is an important part of divorce. It should have two main characteristics: Workability and acceptability.

These two elements are key because you would want the schedule to work for all foreseeable situations. If one parent decides afterwards not to abide by the schedule — for whatever reason — it is ultimately that parent’s fault. However, non-compliance typically causes problems for everyone.

Visitation laws

As explained on FindLaw, visitation in Florida falls under the official category of time-sharing. The court only steps in if parents are unable to make their own schedule. In other words, it is probably up to you to take the first steps.

When negotiating your schedule, it helps to look at things from the perspective of the law. Even if you figure it out, a judge must approve it. Florida is not a mother or father state: The court will look at your schedule to determine if it is in the best interest of your children.

Schedule considerations

Sometime sharing agreements are relatively detailed, letting out weekly agendas, at least for part of the year. However, nearly all of them contain the following three categories:

  • A weekly schedule, called “residential”, that shares normal parenting time
  • Allocation of time for the holidays, often alternating years or major holidays
  • Summer break time

If you have a change in circumstances, or if your spouse does, it could be possible to modify these agreements later on. You would not, for example, necessarily have to plan to lose your job or to change carriers. In general, though, it is a good idea to be as thorough as possible.