Florida Divorce Attorneys Helping Divorcing Parents Establish Parental Responsibilities

parental responsibilityWhen one parent seeks sole parental responsibility from family courts, it is important to realize that these determinations are not taken lightly by the court. Rarely will the courts give sole parental responsibility to one parent unless the court determines it is in the child’s best interest.

Also, parental responsibility is not the same as a time-sharing schedule. Therefore, you must understand the difference between the two and under what unique circumstances you could receive sole parental responsibility.

What is Parental Responsibility?

Florida courts no longer use the term “custody.” No party is awarded custody in Florida courts either. Instead, the court assigns parental responsibility to parents as shared or sole status. Then, the time-sharing arrangement is created.

Sole parental responsibility is one parent who has the authority to make decisions for the child without input from the other parent. This includes major and minor day-to-day decisions.

Sole parental responsibility is only given to one parent if the judge feels:

  • Shared responsibility is harmful to the child;
  • Evidence of child abuse or domestic violence exists;
  • One parent has a history of neglect or abandonment of the child.

In addition to sole parental responsibility, one parent may lose his or her time-sharing. However, it is very rare for the courts to take away time-sharing unless that time (supervised or not) is not in the child’s best interest.

Shared parental responsibility is usually more common with divorce cases. When shared parental responsibility occurs, each parent has a say in major and minor decisions for the child.

What is a Timesharing Schedule?

The time-sharing schedule is separate from your parental responsibility. Time-sharing is a timetable in your parenting plan that outlines how many overnights, holidays, and visitation hours each parent has with the child. Parents can develop a time-sharing plan or the courts can designate one for them if they cannot agree. Typically, judges will use the statute for guidance.

Supervised visitation might be assigned for time-sharing visits, but only if one parent has adequate evidence to prove that supervised visits are necessary for the child’s best interests. Typically, supervised visits are temporary until the court can re-assess the need for supervision in the future.

Would Your Case Qualify for Sole Parental Responsibility?

It is best to speak with a family law attorney in Florida if you wish to seek sole parental responsibility. An attorney can examine your reasons, evidence, and help argue your case in family court.

Do You Think You Qualify for Sole Parental Responsibility? Speak with an Attorney Today

If you feel your case qualifies for sole parental responsibility, or you want to explore your custody options, talk to a family law advocate from Beller & Bustamante, P.L. Schedule your consultation now by calling our offices at 904-288-4414 or requesting further information online.