Thursday, March 1, 2007

Presumption Against Rotating Custody

Florida Statute 61.121 states that the Courts may enter an order for rotating custody if it finds that it will be in the best interests of the child. Rotating custody generally means that parties will share custody of the minor children by either rotating weeks in which the children live with the parents or by the children spending 3 days with one parent and 4 days with another. In Florida, there is a presumption against rotating custody because it is presumed that it is not in the best interests of the child. Courts have argued that a child's need for stability and continuity generally outweighs a parent's desire for rotating or equal time with the child. Chapman v. Prevatt, 845 So.2d 1249 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). A court will only award rotating custody if it truly feels that the it is in the best interests of the child and that the parents are capable of working together in order make the rotating custody schedule plausible. The factors that are applied to determine whether rotating custody should be allowed are as follows:

1. The age and maturity of the children.
2. Whether the child is in school and the closeness of the parents' respective residences.
3. The child's preference.
4. Any disruptive effect on the child.
5. The reasonableness of the time period that the child spends with each parent.
6. The relationship between the periods of rotating custody to other events in the child's life (like school).
7. The parents' attitudes towards one another and how the child will interpret these.
Hosen v. Hosen; 785 So.2d 703 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001).

No comments: