Custody No Longer A Thing In Florida: Our Family Lawyer Explains Parental Responsibility

parental responsibility

In Florida, the term “custody” has been replaced with parental responsibility. Here, our family attorney explains what this means for you and your children.

Read on to hear family attorney, Nadja Prias, explain the term “parental responsibility.”

In the case of a divorce, if children are involved, there is always the question of where they will live, who will make the parenting decisions, and what is in the child’s best interest. Child custody is a term that is no longer used in the state of Florida because of its negative connotation in terms of possession and control. 

The Florida Legislature implemented the term “parental responsibility” to exhibit the intent for both parents to share responsibility for the child. Our family law team at Casais & Prias answers some of the top questions we receive about parental responsibility and what it means for your family.

Why Is Custody Now Called Parental Responsibility?

In Florida, the courts assume both parents are equally interested in the child’s life and wellbeing and are therefore both responsible for making decisions. Parental responsibility requires that both parents work together to parent the child. While custody implies that one parent has more rights than the other, parental responsibility gives both parents full parental rights.

What Decisions Would Fall Under Parental Responsibility?

When a judge determines that there will be shared parental responsibility for a child’s upbringing, it addresses many decisions, major and minor. Some of these include:

  • How the child is disciplined
  • What religious beliefs the child is exposed to
  • What recreational activities the child participates in
  • Where the child goes to school
  • Any legal matters that involve the child
  • And others

How Does Parental Responsibility Work?

Giving both parents full parental rights makes sense since both parents should be involved in the child’s life in the eyes of the law. But how does this work in practice? Here are two examples of parental responsibility:

  • If your daughter lives with you and suffers an illness or injury, you must inform the other parent and he or she must have access to her medical records.
  • If you want your daughter to change schools, the other parent must agree to this change, and have access to her school records.

Do I Need A Parenting Plan?parental responsibility

Florida law requires that parents agree to a parenting plan in the case of shared parental responsibility. This plan includes time-sharing details, as well as school and extracurricular activities, healthcare matters, and others. This plan is designed to lay out expectations to avoid conflicts. It must be agreed to by both parents and approved by the court. 

Our team of family attorneys can help you draft a parenting plan to ensure all contingencies are addressed, and you are prepared for any issue that may arise as you co-parent your child. 

Can A Judge Rule Against Shared Parental Responsibility?

Unless there is any evidence that shows one parent does not have the child’s best interest in mind, the judge will typically rule for shared parental responsibility. In some cases, however, they can award sole parental responsibility. In this case, only one parent will make the decisions regarding education, medical issues, religious choices, and other decisions related to the child’s upbringing.

Some factors a judge will consider when deciding if sole parental responsibility is appropriate include:

  • Evidence of neglect
  • History of domestic violence
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Physical or mental health conditions
  • And others

If you need help with your parental responsibility case, it is best that you contact a family attorney right away. At Casais & Prias, our team of family advocates will do everything in our power to ensure your child receives the best possible care. We will ensure your parental rights are protected, and we will help you through the entire process. Contact us today so we can discuss your case.

Translate/Traducir »