Parents are always concerned with the custody of their children. Custody is not a term used in Florida courts anymore. The traditional concepts of “custody” are now better described by two-prongs: timesharing and parental responsibility. Winter Garden Family Law Firm can help you understand how these concepts will work in your specific circumstances.
The first prong timesharing is the amount of overnight time spent with each parent. Florida Statute 61.13 provides there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific timesharing schedule. This means the judge will likely start at a 50/50 schedule.
o obtain more time, a parent must prove that it is in the child’s best interest. Some important factors to consider when creating a timesharing schedule include the distance between the parents’ residences, the parents’ job schedules, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and other factors unique to each family unit. Timesharing schedules include school year schedules as well as holiday and summer schedules.
The second prong of Florida “custody” is parental responsibility, which refers to the rights of the parents. Parental responsibility is almost always divided equally unless there are specific and extreme circumstances that make it appropriate for one parent to have sole parental responsibility.
Shared parental responsibility means the parents shall confer prior to making major decisions for the child. Additionally, it gives each parent the right to be involved in such decisions as academic, medical, and other areas regarding the child’s welfare.