I was reading this blog by a Florida Attorney and got this interesting bit of information about custodial laws in Florida:
The terms custody, custodial parent, non-custodial parent, visitation, primary residential parent, and secondary resident parent were eliminated from the statute. The disposition of children after a marriage is now determined by parenting plans and time-sharing schedules. These arrangements are governed by Florida Statutes chapter 61.
Prior to this, I was unaware that Florida had such progressive laws on its books on this issue. New York and other states should follow suit. Parents should have co-parenting time with their children, not “visitation.” And a parenting plan/schedule should be a part of any disposition in a divorce action.
I do have one concern. Notice how the attorney stated later in his post:
In light of the alleged extramarital indiscretions by Tiger Woods it is likely that Ms. Woods may have strong arguments for her to be the parent with more timesharing with the children and be entitled to receive substantial child support.
That does not make sense. That sounds like the same old set up in states like New York and others, that uses the “custodial” model, but calls it something else that is fancy such as parenting plans. In other words, what does this man’s infidelity have to do with the kind of father he is? Why should his children, (who obviously adore their father) suffer by being delegated to seeing him less, or in other words get less of him in their schedule, just because he cheated on their mother? What has one to do with the next? And how is this different from what was going on in Florida before the 2008 change when one parent was the custodial parent and the other got visitation?
If we are going to treat parents equally, we are going to treat parents equally. The parenting relationship is different and separate from the sexual relationship of the parents. And one should not have anything to do with the next. I can see if one parent is violent and the court decides that that parent gets less time on their schedule with the kids (in the kids’ best interest). Sex and violence are two different animals. One affects the kids and the other doesn’t, and I wouldn’t have a problem with the court reducing the time a parent spent with the kids post divorce if violence was an issue.
In the Tiger/Elin case, it does not appear that violence was an issue. It wasn’t Tiger that put a knife to his wife’s throat. That, allegedly, was Charlie Sheen. On the contrary, Tiger was allegedly found bleeding, barefoot and going in and out of consciousness next to a smashed up car with his wife standing over him with a golf club. If either of these two should have less time with the kids, pursuant to Florida statute and the facts of this case, I don’t think that person is Tiger.