ST. PETERSBURG FAMILY LAW & CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY (SERVICING THE TAMPA BAY AREA)
Fax Number : 727-498-5510
You can get sole parental responsibility and limited or supervised time sharing in Florida in rare situations in Florida but you cannot get sole custody in Florida. Sole custody is a term.
Attorneys who have been practicing for a very long time still call it custody and essentially it is the same thing. You will need a good custody attorney , one that believes in you and a compelling story. It will be an uphill battle and many people will fail. But if the other parent is unstable, unreliable, on drugs, or simply dangerous and you have recent documentation of this – sole custody (or parental responsibility/ majority time sharing) may be an option.
What is Sole Parental Responsibility and Time Sharing?
Based on hundreds of cases and contact with many parents, we observe that clients want the following when they speak of getting sole parental responsibility or time sharing. In fact most people who come to our office still call the concept custody and visitation:
The ability to make one-sided decisions on most major issues
The decision-making authority to determine when or where the other parent will see their child and how often they see their child and who will be around the other parent when they see their child.
First, an explanation of exactly what is sole parental responsibility and time sharing is. There is a lot of confusion among parents in Florida as to exactly what they should call their desired vision of parenting.
The Florida family law courts and custody statutes define two separate but linked issues: parenting time (time sharing), and parental responsibility. Time sharing is the time that you are with the child. This used to be considered visitation. However, in 2011, to eliminate the battle parents had to be considered a “primary” or a “secondary” parent, the Florida Governor signed a bill establishing, Parental Time Sharing and Responsibility instead of the use of custody and visitation. It was changed to make the concept sound more pleasant. Similar to the recent posts you see on social media where someone is wearing a shirt that says “I don’t baby sit my kids”. Parental time sharing is essentially the time that you have with your child; the time that you are parenting your child and influencing the person they are becoming. You are not “visiting” your child, you are parenting your child. Parental responsibility defines who makes the decisions about the child such as where they go to school, what medical procedures they are going to have or doctor/dentist they will see, or medication they will take. The parent who is going to make the “big picture” decisions regarding the child. The courts generally give both parents shared parenting decisions and generally this isn’t a problem. In real world application, the parents make decisions regarding their child during the time that they have the child. This concept requires the parties to notify the other parent of doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments and educational issues. It basically requires you to make each parent informed of the “big picture” issues in your child life.
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