The most difficult part of a divorce usually concerns the minor child(ren). In very few circumstances, the divorcing parents are able to work out the custody/time sharing schedule as well as the parental responsibility of the minor children.
“Custody” is no longer a term used by the courts and “Time-Sharing” is the proper term used to mean the sharing of time with the minor children by both parents or parties.
“Shared parental responsibility” means a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their children. Both parents confer with each other in good faith and with cooperation, so that major decisions such as education, religion or medical needs affecting the welfare of the children will be determined jointly.
“Sole parental responsibility” means a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes the decisions regarding the minor children. This is only awarded if shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse can be considered by a judge in assessing detriment.
It is the public policy of the State of Florida to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing.
Here are factors the court considers:
For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. Determination of the best interests of the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the minor child, including, but not limited to: