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Orlando Parental Responsibility Attorney

When you think of parental responsibility, what do you think about? Is it child custody? Or do you think about decision making?

Parental responsibility refers to a parent’s decision-making responsibility for their children. Ideally, Florida courts want the parents to work together and agree on major decisions concerning their children, such as health, welfare, education, and religion. If the parents cannot agree on these major decisions, then the court will decide.

Both parents typically have parental responsibility. It is unusual for one parent to be awarded sole parental responsibility for a child. To learn more about parental responsibility, contact Orlando parent responsibility attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law.

Child Custody vs. Parental Responsibility

In a sense, parental responsibility is a form of legal custody. Legal custody means decision-making authority. It does not necessarily mean physical custody, such as where the child lives. However, a child’s living arrangements could possibly be a shared decision by the parents.

Parental responsibility can be agreed upon by both parents. If they cannot come to an agreement, then a judge may decide. The courts will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. This typically means that both parents will get custody, or shared parental responsibility. Sole custody is rare but it does occur from time to time in extreme cases, such as abuse, neglect, incarceration, or addiction.


While one parent is typically the primary caregiver and is therefore responsible for day-to-day decisions, long-term decisions fall under parental responsibility. This means that both parents may be responsible.

Some issues that are considered shared responsibility include the following:

  • Education and schooling
  • Religious upbringing
  • Moral beliefs
  • Discipline
  • Recreational activities
  • Changes in social environment
  • Legal matters

Also, shared parental responsibility means good communication. If your child suffers an illness or accident, you must tell the other parent. They also get access to your child’s medical records at any time. Changing schools also requires the other parent’s consent.

In addition, each parent needs to be an active caregiver. They are obligated to provide a moral, educational, and socioeconomic setting for the child. When it comes to visitation, there must be ease of communication.  Texting, phone calls, and emails should be allowed. There should be love and respect for each other, which means there should be no badmouthing or name calling. While it’s OK for the parents to disagree, they should do so amicably. Everything should be done with the best interest of the child in mind.

When either parent fails to meet their obligations, they can be held in contempt of court. This can mean fines, prison time, and loss of custody.

Contact Us Today

Both parents have responsibility for their children under state law. They should work together to raise their children in the best way possible.

Orlando parent responsibility attorney Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Attorney at Law can help you make the right decisions for your children. Schedule a consultation with our office today. Call 407-521-7171 or fill out the online form.

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