Jacksonville Divorce and Family Law Lawyers
As of October 1, 2008, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have been removed from the Florida Statutes. There is no longer a designation of a “primary residential parent” or a “secondary residential parent.” Instead, all divorces involving minor children are required to file a Parenting Plan that spells out the time-sharing between each parent and the minor child. Although the language has changed, the basic issue of how much time the child will spend with each parent and when that time-sharing will take place must still be specifically addressed. The parents are encouraged to work together to draft a Parenting Plan that is agreeable to both of them, but in the event that they are unable to agree on the terms, the Judge will decide on the Parenting Plan and the parents will be ordered to follow it.
For many divorcing parents, one of the most difficult steps in the divorce process is trying to agree on a fair time-sharing arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. If you are having trouble understanding your rights and responsibilities as a divorcing parent, you are not alone. Our firm has the knowledge and experience to help you fully understand your rights and responsibilities and will help you develop a Parenting Plan and time-sharing schedule that comply with Florida law.
Shared Parental Responsibility
It is the public policy of Florida that minor children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or divorced, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing. In most cases, parental responsibility for a minor child will be shared by both parents so that each will retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child.
In determining parental responsibility, the court will approve or grant a Parenting Plan that includes how the parents will share the daily tasks of childrearing, the time-sharing schedule and a designation of which parent will be responsible for
health care, school and related activities.
You should always remember that you may be ending your marriage, but neither of you is ending your relationship with your children. Your children should be protected from the discord and uncertainty of divorce. By coming to an agreement on parenting issues, you and your spouse can avoid or minimize harm to your children and avoid a costly court battle which may result in a court-ordered Parenting Plan that neither of you are happy with.
As experienced family law attorneys we will help you develop a Parenting Plan and time-sharing schedule that comply with Florida law and that protect your rights.