Overview of Child Custody in Florida
- Timesharing vs. Custody
In 2008, the Florida legislature revised the law governing child custody in Florida that eliminated the terms custody and visitation. In its place are the terms timesharing and parental responsibility. Any reference to the terfms such as “custody” or “sole custody,” or “visitation” are referencing outdated law and possibly dismissed. Timesharing is a term used to describe the parenting time arrangement between parents and parental responsibility is a term that governs how parents make decisions regarding their children’s welfare.
Timesharing is basically a terms that describes the amount of parenting time that each parent will have with their children after a split. Neither parent has custody the children, rather, both parents share in the joys and burdens of child rearing by virtue of their timesharing.
- Parental Responsibility
Parental Responsibility is a term used to describe how parents will make decisions regarding their children. There are three types of parental responsibility:
- Shared Parental Responsibility – the parents must agree on major decisions affecting their children.
- Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision Making Authority – the parents must discuss and attempt to reach an agreement on major issues, but one parent will have the final say.
- Sole Parental Responsibility – one parent has the decision-making authority for all major issues facing the children and does not have to discuss any course of action with the other parent.
This article has provided a brief overview of the statue governing timesharing and parental responsibility and explained that custody no longer technically exists in Florida. Like other issues in family law, like child support, there remains the question of how Florida courts determine parenting time and parental responsibility. Make sure to check back for my upcoming post about how child custody is determined in Florida. Also, for further questions, it is best to discuss your unique situation with a divorce or child custody attorney you trust. Call Nick Hamm for a consultation at 352-888-6142.