Shared Parental Responsibility in Florida
Florida couples who share children and who decide to separate or dissolve their marriages are required to submit a parenting plan to the court before a custody award or divorce will be finalized. Parenting plans govern time-sharing and the division of parental responsibility, two different, but equally important custody matters, as the former refers to the actual amount of time that each parent spends with his or her children and the latter referring to how responsibility for making child-related decisions is divided between two parents.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the difference between these two matters and may believe that shared parental responsibility is related in some way to having equal custody. The reality, however, is that shared parental responsibility does not necessarily mean that a couple will have equal time with their children. To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the difference between parenting time and parental responsibility, please contact our shared parental responsibility legal team for assistance.
What is Shared Parental Responsibility?
Parental responsibility is a term that describes the legal status of a person’s decision-making authority over his or her minor children. In most divorce cases, courts prefer to award shared parental responsibility to parents, which means that both parties will have an equal share in making decisions about a child’s health and educational welfare. For instance, if two parents are awarded shared parental responsibility and one parent wishes to move a child to another school, he or she would first need to discuss the potential change with the other parent. In the event that the parties can’t come to an agreement, the parent requesting the change would be required to file a motion with a family law court.
The Difference Between Sole and Shared Parental Responsibility
Although judges generally prefer to award shared parental responsibility to parents, even when the parties in question do not share parenting time equally, it is possible for a court to award sole parental responsibility to one parent. This is extremely unlikely, however, as a parent requesting sole parental responsibility will be tasked with proving that it would be detrimental to the child in question if the court were to award shared responsibility. This is a difficult burden to meet and is usually only satisfied in the most severe circumstances.
Shared Responsibility with Final Decision-Making Authority
The final type of parental responsibility arrangement is known as shared responsibility with final decision-making authority. Although this type of plan is pretty much the same as a standard shared parenting agreement, it is different in one key way, as under this type of arrangement, even if both parents cannot reach an agreement on a certain decision, the parent with final decision-making authority would have the right to move forward over the other parent’s objection. This arrangement is also relatively rare because it is easily abused by the parent with final authority
Call Today for Help with Your Case
Please call 954-945-7591 today to speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale shared parental responsibility lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about your custody-related questions and concerns.