Custody and Visitation Shared Parental Responsibility For The Children
In the State of Florida it is the public policy to assure each minor child frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or divorced. Additionally, both parents should encourage the other parent to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing. The father and mother are given the same consideration when the court is determining custody regardless of their child's age, sex, or any other factors.
Florida divorce laws mandate shared parental responsibility for a minor child.
This means that both parents share responsibilities for child rearing so that each retains full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child. This requires both parents to confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.
You and your spouse may agree, or the court may order, that one parent have the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's welfare. Some of these areas might be education, religion, removal from the area, and medical and dental needs. If the parties have a substantial conflict over any of these areas the parties can request that the court decide for them. If the parties cannot agree the court will prepare a parenting plan. The parent's are usually entitled to frequent, continuing and unsupervised contact with the child in the parenting plan.
In rare cases, the court can order sole parental responsibility and custody to one parent.
To do so, the court must make a written determination that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental (harmful) to the child and not in the child's best interests.
"Best Interest Of The Child"
In considering issues between parents and their children, the "best interest of the child" is the primary consideration used by the courts to make decisions.