Shared Parental Responsibility Where One Parent is an Adoptive Parent
In the state of Florida, an adoptive parent has all of the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent. This includes legal financial rights and responsibilities as well as emotional rights and responsibilities. This means that during divorce proceedings, each parent is on equal footing with regards to their rights and responsibilities to their shared child. The following is a discussion of some commonly asked questions and answers about shared parental responsibility in cases where a step parent adopts their step child, then the marriage dissolves.
Is the Term “Custody” Still Used in the State of Florida?
The term “custody” was removed from Florida statutes in 2008. It was thought by some that the term implied possession or ownership. Yet the term and similar terms are still used interchangeably with the new terms, which now include “shared parental responsibility.”
Courts Prefer Parents Reach a Resolution
It is generally thought that parental responsibility decisions are best resolved between the parents, including cases where one of the parents is an adoptive parent. Courts in Florida believe strongly in the involvement of two loving parents raising a child.
It can also be helpful to use mediation to resolve parenting disputes. This would mean that a third party would help the parties resolve parenting decisions. Any recommendations by a mediator would not be binding, but is intended to facilitate a resolution between the parties.
Court battles can be traumatic. It is best for everyone involved to avoid those battles. It is also best to avoid a situation where one side is the winner and the other side is a loser. Parents need to remember that what matters most is the best interests of the child. It does not matter under Florida statute, and common sense, whether one of those parents is an adoptive parent as opposed to a biological parent.
What About Child Support and Other Financial Support?
Child support and other financial support is not any different in cases involving a case where one of the parents is an adoptive parent. As previously discussed, courts prefer a mutual resolution to all issues in a marital dissolution. However, Florida statutes provide a formula for determining child support. A family law judge has the ultimate say in determining support if the parties cannot agree. It is always best if parties can resolve these issues no matter how contentious the relationship between the parties.
Parenting Plans in the State of Florida
The state of Florida requires a parenting plan be created in every case. This is true if one of the parties is an adoptive parent, if both parties are adoptive parents, or if neither parties are adoptive parents. The court prefers that the parties work out a parenting plan but will create one on its own if necessary. The most important aspect of the parenting plan is that it meets the needs of the child.
If You Are Facing Marital Dissolution and Have Children
If you have children, whether adopted or biological, and are facing marital dissolution, contact Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio. Sandra Bonfiglio can assist you with creating a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your family.