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Can The Court Impose A Rotating Parenting Schedule That Neither Parent Wants?


When it comes to parenting plans, the general rule is that what is acceptable to both parents is also acceptable to the court.  It is only when the parents cannot agree on how to divide parenting time that the court must make detailed findings about the children’s best interests; if you and your ex-spouse agree that a certain time sharing schedule is in your children’s best interests, the court will not question your judgment.  Once your parenting dispute becomes so irreconcilable that the court has to decide on a parenting plan, it will usually adopt aspects of both parties’ proposed time sharing schedules, or else adopt one parent’s proposed plan wholesale.  There have been some cases, however, when the court opted for a parenting plan that departed substantially from the schedules suggested by either parent.  If the court has ordered a parenting plan that makes no sense to you or to your ex-spouse, contact a Palm Beach County child custody lawyer.

A Parenting Plan That Requires the Parents and the Child to Relocate

Anna and Daryl married in November 2009, three months before their daughter’s birth.  During the marriage, Daryl worked in Bahia Honda, and he commuted several hours between work and the marital home in Lake Worth.  The parties separated when their daughter was only a few months old, and Daryl moved back to Bahia Honda to be closer to his place of employment, while Anna stayed in the marital home.  While the divorce case was in progress, the child stayed with Anna for four nights a week and with Daryl for three; this meant that the child traveled a total of 400 miles roundtrip each week.

Timesharing arrangements like these are fairly common for infants, but they tend to become untenable once children reach school age, and when the parents live so far apart, it is very difficult to arrange for preschool or daycare in such a time sharing situation.  When the parties’ divorce became final at the conclusion of a trial, the court declined to designate either parent as a primary residential parent.  Instead, the court ruled that the child would rotate between the parents’ residences every two months, and whichever parent was not residing with the child during the two-month period would have at least one daytime visit per week with the child.  The court tentatively decided that, when the child started kindergarten, Daryl would be the primary residential parent unless Anna moved within 50 miles of Daryl’s residence.  Both parties appealed the judgment, albeit making different requests about what a better parenting plan would be.  The appeals court agreed that the trial court had overstepped its bounds with this parenting plan that was inconvenient for everyone, and it remanded the case to the trial court.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you get a parenting plan that does not require you to travel hundreds of miles each week in order to spend time with your child.  Contact Schwartz | White for help today.



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