Florida Courts no longer designate parents as being a primary residential parent, or a secondary residential parent. Furthermore, the law does not provide that either parent shall have “custody” of his/her child. Instead, beginning October 1, 2006, the Court will establish a Parenting Plan which will set forth a Time-Sharing Schedule for each party to have with the child. Florida Statute Section 61.13 sets forth the law regarding Parenting Plans and Time Sharing Schedules.
Florida Statute Section 61.046(14) defines Parenting Plan as a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration.
Shared Parental Responsibility vs. Sole Parental Responsibility
In most circumstances, unless the Court finds that shared parental responsibility is detrimental to a child, parents are awarded shared parental responsibility of their children. Shared parental responsibility means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. On the other hand, “sole parental responsibility” means a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child.