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What to Know About Parental Responsibility in the State of Florida

For parents going through divorce, one of the most contentious aspects of the entire process frequently revolves around custody – which in Florida we discuss in terms of parental responsibility and timesharing.

It’s easy to understand why tensions can quickly escalate on this matter, especially with emotions running as high as they do during divorce. But, at the end of the day, the determination on shared parental responsibility is all about what’s in the best interest of the child(ren). And that is for the courts to decide. Here is a high-level overview of what to expect.

What to know about shared parental responsibility in Florida

The petition – When you fill out the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children, you will also find a section on parenting plans. With your lawyer, you will work through the form together on items such as determining parental responsibility, determining the time sharing schedule, and requesting child support.

Florida family courts begin with the presumption that shared parental responsibility (a.k.a. joint custody) is in the best interest of the child. Gaining sole parental responsibility can be very difficult, though certainly not impossible.

Shared parenting time plans – Shared parental responsibility means that both parents must approve of all major decisions related to the child. Those decisions include educational, religious, medical, and all other decisions related to the health and well-being of the child. A parenting time plan becomes the basis for the court order that establishes the parenting schedule and child support, if applicable.

The process of determining parental responsibility and time sharing rights and responsibilities in Florida is ridden with paperwork, petitions, and requires plenty of patience, but your legal team will be at your side the entire time. If you find yourself facing divorce or a child custody issue, get in touch today. Our team of family lawyers has the experience and know-how to ensure your family’s rights and best interests are protected.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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