Child Time Sharing/Parental Responsibility

In Florida, the court will make child custody decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child if
the parents can't come to an agreement. The court will order that parental responsibility be shared by
both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.
In that case, the court may order sole parental responsibility as will best protect the child.

In 2009, the legislature eliminated the phrase "primary residential parent" and parents now "time-share"
their children.   The intent is to insure that no parent feels that they have superior rights to their children.   
Which schedule is deemed to be the most appropriate is different for every family and the courts will
use the following factors in determining a weekly schedule

(1) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential
parent ;
(2) The love ,affection and other emotional ties between the parents and the child;
(3)  Each parent's ability to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care and other material needs;
(4) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of
maintaining continuity;
(5) The permanence of the existing or proposed custodial home;
(6) The moral fitness of the parents;
(7) The mental and physical health of the parents;
(8) The home ,school and community record of the child;
(9) The reference of the child, if the child is intelligent, understanding and experienced enough to
express a preference;
(10) Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse;


Shared Parental Responsibility
Shared parental responsibility is a relationship where both of the parents retain full parental rights and
responsibilities with respect to their children. The parties should confer and discuss on such issues as
schooling, health, religion, the child's activities and any other issue regarding the welfare of the minor
child. These major decisions should be made jointly after a full discussion of each of the parent's

Parenting Plan
Every couple will have to develop a parenting plan that outlines the parties' weekly schedule, holiday
schedule, summer schedule and specific instructions as they relate to shared parenting decisions.  If a
couple cannot develop a parenting plan on their own, a Court can impose one after hearing all
testimony and evidence at a hearing and/or trial.  

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