Childrens Issues and Time-Shares?

Attorney, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg proudly serves the Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, and Family Law legal needs of those in Orlando, Central Florida, and Montverde.

Call 321.209.1878 to schedule an confidential legal consultation regarding your Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, and Family Law matters.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Parental Responsibility:

Both parents have a right to parent their child. Bad parenting is not illegal. The court will look to the best interests of the child in determining how each parent will be involved in the decision-making process for the child. The “decision-making” that this refers to includes major life decisions such as education, health, and welfare of the child. Day-to-day decisions are made by each individual parent when the child is in their care and custody at the time.

Parental Responsibility may be shared or sole. Shared parental responsibility is when both parents participate in the major life decisions of the child (education, health, welfare). In the majority of cases, the court is more likely to order shared parental responsibility.

Sole parental responsibility is where one parent’s ability to participate in the major life decisions of the child will be limited by the court. A parent’s parental responsibility will only be limited if that limitation is in the best interests of the child, and, more often than not, only when there is a history of abuse, neglect, drug use and exposure, and/or domestic violence.

Best Interests of the Child

The best interests of the child is the standard that the court will look to when making any decision relating to the child. In determining the best interests of the child the court will look at several factors. These include:

  • Will the parent encourage a relationship with the other parent?

  • How did the parents share their responsibilities during the marriage and how will the responsibilities be shared after the divorce?

  • Can the parent put the child’s needs over their own needs?

  • How long has the child been in a stable and safe environment?

  • Where will the child enjoy continuity and consistency?

  • How long will the child spend traveling to school and between the parents’ homes?

  • Are the parents morally fit and mentally and physically able to parent?

  • What is the child’s home, school, and community history?

  • What is the child’s preference, if he/she is old and mature enough to express his/her own opinion?

  • Do the parents know the child’s friends, teachers, medical providers, daily activities, and favorite things?

  • Can the parents provide a consistent routine, such as homework, meals, and bedtime?

  • Can the parents communicate with one another and create a unified front on all major issues relating to the child?

  • Is there any history of domestic violence, abuse, or substance use and/or abuse?

  • Can the parents keep the children out of the litigation?

  • Can the parents avoid disparaging remarks or talking badly about each other in front of the child?

  • Can the parents address the child’s developmental or special needs, if any?


Time-sharing refers to how often and when each parent will see and have contact with the child. Parents have an equal right to enjoy their fundamental right to parent their child. A Parenting Plan will be agreed upon or ordered by the court. This plan will address the parental responsibility and the specifics of weekly and holiday contact and other ways to communicate with the child while he/she is in the care of the other parent. Time-sharing can be shared equally between the parents in a fifty-fifty (50-50) time-share arrangement, or the child may spend more time with one parent than he/she does with the other parent. Percentage of timeshare is determined by calculating the number of overnights spent with each parent. The Parenting Plan will also determine how each parent will communicate with the child while he/she is with the other parent, such as by telephone, text messaging, video conferencing, or email.

Child support

Child Support is calculated by a mathematical formula that is provided by law in Florida. This formula is known as the Child Support Guidelines. It is unusual to deviate from the child support guidelines.

The Child Support Guidelines takes into account your net income, meaning how much money you take home after taxes, and other allowable deductions that are deducted from your gross income. Both parents’ net incomes are used to calculate the amount of child support that will be paid. You are only responsible for paying the same percentage of childcare that you paid when you were married. For example, if you paid for 60% of the childcare while you were with your spouse then you will continue to pay 60% once you are divorced.Credits are provided for child support previously ordered and actually paid for, a child of another relationship, health insurance costs for the child, and day care costs for the child if it is necessary for work. An additional credit may apply for substantial time-sharing. Substantial time-sharing means that the child spends more than 20% of the time or 73 overnights with a parent.

Tips About Child Support:

  • Never fall behind on a payment. Payments are not forgiven and will quickly begin to pile up.

  • Child support is different than alimony in that the court system expects you to pay child support before paying for your own basic needs (rent, groceries, car payment, etc.).

  • You will only pay child support until your child turn eighteen(18) or graduates from high school, whichever comes first.

  • The States Disbursement Unit is the easiest and safest way to pay your child support. This government organization will automatically withdraw and deposit your child support for you every month, guaranteeing that you never miss a payment and that you have solid evidence if your ex claims that you missed a payment.


Health Insurance:

The amount a parent pays for his/her own health insurance may be deducted from their gross income. In addition, a credit is provided against the child support obligation for the cost of providing health insurance for the child.

Day Care:

A credit is provided against the child support obligation for the costs of day care that is necessary to allow a parent to work.

Call Orlando and Central Florida Lawyer, Mary Hoftiezer Zogg at 321.209.1878 to discuss your Divorce and Family Law needs and goals.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg has extensive experience in assisting Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Longwood, Central Florida and Montverde residents who require professional Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, and Family Law Attorney legal services.

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Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Mary Hoftiezer Zogg, ESQ.

Attorney at Law

Mary Zogg, formerly Mary Hoftiezer has a multidisciplinary background which helps to provide a unique experience for her clients. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Business Administration in addition to her law degree. This allows her to provide her clients with a full vision of the financial, emotional, and legal aspects of their cases.

Mary’s degree in psychology has provided her with the ability to listen and understand the emotional impact of a divorce or paternity action. She works to understand how you feel and takes these feelings into account when putting together a strategy as to how to resolve your case.

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