Florida courts do not use the term “child custody”. Instead, the courts will award a “joint parental responsibility”. The joint parental responsibility is a time sharing arrangement that allows both parents time with their child.

Is Joint Parental Responsibility The Same As Child Custody?

In parental responsibility, the two parents are awarded a time-sharing arrangement with the child and the task of raising the child. The responsibility to raise the child ends when the child graduates from college or upon the child’s 18th birthday.

When the Florida courts award shared parental responsibility, both parents have full parental rights. Both parents must jointly decide about the child’s welfare including the primary residence, health, and education.

Sole Parental Responsibility

Florida courts always refrain from using the terms “child custody”. Concepts such as “majority time sharing” and equal “time sharing” apply.

If divorce or separation occurs, the courts will typically award shared responsibility unless one parent proves that the shared parental responsibility is harmful to the child. The courts can take child abuse, negligence, abandonment of child and spouse, or domestic violence as possible harm to the child.

In rare circumstances, the judge can also consider the request by one parent and give sole child responsibility to one parent. Sole parental responsibility or sole custody can give one parent the right to make decisions about the child’s welfare, for instance, the child’s bedtime and the school the child attends.

Time Sharing Schedule

The parents will attempt to agree upon time-sharing schedule that includes the parenting plan and the specific time that each parent spends with the child. The schedule must include the child’s overnights, weekends, birthday, and holidays. The timetable may as well outline the child’s education, co-curricular time, out of state travel, and general welfare.
If the two parents fail to agree, the court will create the time-sharing timetable after hearing the testimony and evidence from both parents.

Who Pays for Child Support?

In case both parents have equal time-sharing schedule with the child, the Florida courts will calculate the child support expenses using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. The judge will rely on the parents’ income, health insurance, the cost of child day care, medical expenses to decide the financial contribution of each parent. The parent with a higher percentage of time sharing might pay fewer finances in child support.

Does The Child Choose The Parent To Live With?

According to Florida Statutes, the court can consider “the reasonable preference of the child” especially when the child has sufficient understanding, intelligence and experience.

At Konicek Law, PLLC we specialize in helping you with various family law services. If you are having issues regarding paternity, call Konicek Law today. (407) 894-1122