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How Shared Parental Responsibility Works, and What It Means to Your Florida Divorce Case

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2022 | Firm News

Florida makes use of a system called “shared parental responsibility”, aimed at ensuring that both parents are still involved in their children’s lives and that they’re both consulted when important decisions are made. Because of this, custody in a Florida divorce case is handled differently than in most other states. Shared parental responsibility is separate from physical custody, and even if physical custody is not evenly split between the spouses, shared parental responsibility ensures that both parents still have an equal say in decision-making.

Joint Decision-Making

It’s now well-known that keeping both parents involved in the lives of their children significantly improves the future of a child’s life. As such, Florida defaults to shared parental responsibility in the vast majority of cases. Under this system, both parents have to amicably agree to important decisions, such as where the children will go to school, medical care, and other aspects of the child’s life. If parents can’t agree on an issue, a judge will make the final decision. Florida parental responsibility statutes specify that both parents must conduct themselves in a way that is best for the welfare of their child, as well as ensure that their child is free to have unimpaired contact with both parents. This means that neither parent is allowed to take any action that would disparage the other, nor are they allowed to block the child’s access to the other parent, either physically or through communication. Parents should be sure to facilitate an amicable relationship between themselves, not only in the best interest of their children, but also to make the process of co-parenting as simple as possible.

Can I Receive Sole Parental Responsibility?

As long as it’s in the best interest of the child, the court will choose shared parental responsibility. Spouses seeking sole parental responsibility will have to demonstrate to the court that allowing the other parent to remain involved in the decision-making process for the child poses a threat to the child’s well-being. This can include a parent with a history of domestic violence, child abuse, abandonment, drug abuse, or any other circumstance which poses a significant threat to your child. Even in cases where sole parental responsibility is awarded, the court may order supervised time sharing with the child so that the parent is still involved in their growth.

Parental responsibility is only one part of the divorce process. For comprehensive divorce representation that is focused on meeting your needs, contact our team today at 305-596-3618.