Florida Shared Parental Responsibility Attorney
The current rule in Florida is that parents should share parental responsibility after divorce, unless it is detrimental to the child. The goal of shared parental responsibility is to keep both parents involved in a child’s life, and to avoid the labels “primary custody,” “secondary custody” and “visitation,” which can imply that one parent has more parental authority than the other. For divorcing parents in Broward County, Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. helps clients create a parenting plan that complies with the law regarding shared parental responsibility.
Understanding Shared Parental Responsibility
Shared parental responsibility means that parents discuss and decide major decisions affecting their child. These are the decisions that have long-term consequences in a child’s life, such as child care facilities, schools, doctors, medical treatment, religious affiliation, and long distance trips. For older children, it involves making decisions about issues like part-time employment, driving, leaving school, and going to college.
In Florida, a parenting plan is required in all cases involving shared parental responsibility, even parents have agreed on joint custody. The primary consideration for a parenting plan is whether it is in the best interests of the child, which means a court will look at all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence and any other relevant factors when determining the appropriateness of a parenting plan. At a minimum, a parenting plan must describe in adequate detail:
- How the parties will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child
- The time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent
- A designation of who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care and school-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration
- The methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child
If a case involves supervised time-sharing or relocating with a minor child, special forms must be used and additional requirements must be met when developing a parenting plan.
Sole Parental Responsibility
Sole parental responsibility means that one parent has ultimate decision-making authority relative to a child, which allows him or her to make even major life decisions affecting the child without consulting the other parent. This arrangement is not favored under the law; however, there are situations when it is in a child’s best interests, such as when a parent is irresponsible, neglects or abuses the child, or there is some other reason supported by evidence that justifies sole parental responsibility. For more information, please see our full custody page.
Contact Us for More Information about Shared Parental Responsibility
If you are facing divorce and have children, you need to determine how you and your former spouse will share parental responsibility. Contact the Fort Lauderdale offices of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a consultation.