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Florida Parental Responsibility

The idea of child custody has been replaced in Florida by the concept of shared parental responsibility. Florida state law has codified the idea and integrated it into all child custody considerations. However, many parents do not understand exactly how shared parental responsibility works or how it will affect future decisions regarding their child.

Florida Shared Parental Responsibility

The family courts in Florida define shared parental responsibility as a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their minor child, and where both parents confer with each other regarding all major decisions affecting the welfare of the child.

Shared Parental Responsibility Decisions

Whichever parent is caring for the child has the responsibility of making the day-to-day decisions regarding care, maintenance, welfare, and the like. However, both of the parents must consult with one another on questions of religious upbringing, discipline, financial, moral, social, recreational, and legal matters, school and educational programs, changes in social environment, and non-emergency health care, both medical and dental. In addition, both parents must have an active role in providing a sound moral, socioeconomic, and educational environment for their child.

Parents must make plans that are always consistent with the best interest of the child, and both parents are required to be amicable when resolving any issues that may arise. The court also mandates that the parents conduct themselves and their activities in a proper manner, which will promote the welfare and the interest of the child.

Shared Parental Responsibility Conduct

Each parent must notify the other of any serious illness or accident affecting the child, and both parents shall have access to records, and information pertaining to their child, including medical, dental, and school records. In addition, both parents shall be entitled to authorize emergency medical treatment for the child.

Both parents must also ensure that the child maintains contact and free access with the other parent. Each shall encourage a feeling of affection between the child and both parents. Neither shall do anything to hamper the natural development of the child’s love and respect for the other party.

While the child is staying with one parent, that parent shall make all reasonable efforts to facilitate communication between the other parent and the child through phone, mail, and other forms of communication. Most importantly, neither parent shall do anything that would estrange the child from the other.

Parents that fail to do everything in their power to project to their children a loving, caring feeling toward the other parent are subject to very severe penalties. These can include a finding of contempt, imprisonment, loss of residential custody, or any combination of the penalties.

Let an Orlando Family Law Attorney Help

The concept of shared parental responsibility can be confusing for everyone involved. If you or someone that you know has questions regarding child custody or any other aspect of family law, let the experienced office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. help. Call at 407-521-7171 or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

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