In Florida, child custody refers to the legal right of a parent to take physical care of their children. This custody can be termed parental responsibility or time-sharing. Custody arrangements can be made through a court declaration or agreement, but often parents will work out an arrangement themselves. If the parents cannot agree on custody, then the courts will make a determination for them.

What Does Parental Responsibility Mean in Florida?

Parental responsibility is a legal term that refers to the rights and duties of parents with respect to their children. In Florida, the term “parental responsibility” replaced legal custody in 2003. The change was made to more accurately reflect the role of parents in modern families.

Under Florida law, both parents are responsible for the care and support of their children, regardless of whether they are currently married, seeking a divorce, or living separately. This includes providing for their children’s physical, emotional, and financial needs. Parents are also responsible for making decisions about their children’s welfare, including decisions about education, religion, and medical care.

If parents cannot agree on how to meet their children’s needs, the court will make decisions based on what it believes is in the best interest of the child.

What Does Time-Sharing Mean in Florida?

In 1990, the Florida legislature amended the state’s divorce law to include what is now known as “time-sharing” in place of physical custody and visitation. The amendment was based on a recommendation by the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Gender Bias. The task force found that the terms “custody” and “visitation” were gender-biased because they implied that children belonged to their mothers or fathers. The task force recommended that the term “time-sharing” be used to describe both parents’ right to spend time with their children.

As such “time-sharing” replaced the terms “physical custody” and “visitation.” Time-sharing means that both parents have a legal right to spend time with their child and that the child will live with each parent for a specific period of time. In most cases, the court will order a schedule that gives each parent approximately equal time with the child.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard in Florida

The Best Interests of the Child Standard in Florida is a law that helps to ensure that decisions made about children are done in their best interest. The law requires judges to consider a number of factors when making decisions about a child, including the child’s safety, well-being, and best interests. Judges are also required to consider the wishes of both parents, unless there is evidence that the parent’s wishes do not reflect the child’s best interest.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard is important because it ensures that children are taken into account when decisions are made about them.  

How Can You Gain More “Parental Responsibility” Over Your Child?

There are many reasons why a Florida court might grant a parent the request for sole parental responsibility for their child. Some of the most common reasons include: 

If you would like to have more parental responsibility for your child, you can file a petition with the court requesting sole parental responsibility. The court will consider all of the facts of your case and will make a determination based on what is in the best interests of the child.

If you are granted sole parental responsibility, this means that you will be responsible for making all decisions regarding your child’s welfare. You will also be responsible for providing for your child’s mental and emotional needs.

Are There Exceptions to the “Time-Sharing” Rule in Florida?

Just as with parental responsibility in Florida, there are a few reasons why visitation may be modified in Florida. One such reason is if the other partner has a history of violence or domestic abuse. In order to protect the safety of the victim, the court may decide that it is not safe for the victim to have contact with the abuser. 

Another reason why visitation may be modified is if there is a significant difference in parenting styles between the two parents and they cannot come to an agreement on important decisions regarding their child. In this case, if one parent feels that the other is not fit to take care of their child, they may petition the court to stop visitation. 

Finally, if one parent moves out of state, they may lose their right to visitation unless special arrangements are made by the court. This is because moving too far away is often seen as non-beneficial for the child or is burdensome for the family.

Can You Create a Customized Parenting Plan in Florida?

Creating a parenting plan for yourself that best suits your needs and schedule can be done in Florida. While this may seem like a daunting task, with the help of an experienced family law attorney, it can be done. 

After creating the plan, the next step is to file the parenting plan with the courts. The other parent will then be notified and they will have the opportunity to respond. The court will then vet the parenting plan to make sure it meets all of the requirements. If everything is in order, the parenting plan will be approved and put into effect.

We Can Help You Create a Plan That Works

While determining child custody is often seen as a complex process, if you understand your rights, know what to expect, and work with an experienced attorney, you will be able to get the most out of the process.
If you are considering filing for child custody in Florida, be sure to speak with an experienced family law attorney at The Law Firm of Anthony J. Diaz. We will be happy to guide you through the process and help protect your rights and interests.

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