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What Are The Differences Between Child Custody, Parental Responsibility, and Time Sharing in Florida?

Tampa Florida child custody family law attorneys

If you are a parent in Florida and are about to get a divorce, you may have already heard terms such as ‘parental responsibility’ and ‘time sharing.’ You may also wonder what they mean and what they have to do with child custody, which is often a term that is more familiar to people. The Florida courts and statutes no longer use the term ‘child custody.’ Instead, this term has been replaced by time sharing and parental responsibility. Below, one of our Tampa child custody attorneys explains what these two terms mean.

What is Parental Responsibility? 

Under state law, parental responsibility dictates how important decisions pertaining to the child are made. These decisions may relate to the medical, educational, and religious needs of the child. Shared parental responsibility is always the preferred option for the courts. This arrangement allows both parents to have an equal say in decisions made on the child’s behalf. However, when necessary, the courts may award sole parental responsibility to only one parent.

When parents can voluntarily agree on parental responsibility arrangements, the court will approve them as long as they are reasonable. In these situations, attorneys for both sides typically negotiate these agreements. When parents cannot reach an agreement on their own, the court will determine parental responsibility. Generally speaking, the courts will award shared parental responsibility. The exception to this is when one parent is unfit due to a history of drug or alcohol use, domestic violence, or an inability to be present in the child’s life.

What is Time Sharing? 

Time sharing refers to the plan that stipulates how much time a child will spend with each parent, and a schedule for that time. The law and courts in Florida start any time sharing case with the presumption that it is in the child’s best interests to spend equal time with each parent.

Time sharing plans are structured in a number of different ways, depending on the unique needs of the child and the family. For example, one family’s plan may incorporate a weekly schedule in which the child is with one parent Monday to Thursday and with the other parent from Friday to Sunday. Or, a parenting plan may need to be structured on an annual basis where the child spends the summer with one parent and the rest of the year with the other parent.

As with parental responsibility, parents can negotiate a parenting plan on their own with the help of their attorneys. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will prepare the schedule. Regardless of how a plan is created, the main priority is that it reflects the best interests of the child.

Our Child Custody Attorneys in Tampa Will Successfully Negotiate on Your Behalf 

At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child custody attorneys will negotiate time sharing and parental responsibility on your behalf and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to get more information.  Se habla Español.



All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group, P.A. provides legal services to the Florida cities including Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Hyde Park, South Tampa, Ybor City, Northdale, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Northdale, Westchase, Citrus Park, Town N Country, Thonotosassa, Lutz, Fish Hawk, New Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, MacDill Air Force Base and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We will also represent DIVORCE clients in Polk, Hernando or Manatee Counties.

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