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Understanding child custody

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Family Law |

If you are splitting up with your partner, and you have children together, child custody is an important focus. There are two potential types of custody, and if you and your partner cannot agree, the courts will make the decision.

A parenting plan is an important part of the process, and there are various factors you should consider so that the arrangement is what is best for the children.

Types of custody

According to The Florida Senate, the state refers to child custody as parental responsibility. Sole parental responsibility is when only one parent makes decisions concerning the children, while shared parental responsibility means that both parents have full parental responsibilities and rights.

Parenting plan

Whether you or the courts make the custody decision, a parenting plan consists of content related to decisions about issues such as each child’s healthcare, education and wellbeing. The parenting plan must also include a time-sharing schedule, which outlines when the child will be in the physical presence of each parent. If you and your partner are able to come up with a plan on your own, the court must approve it.

Best interest considerations

When making parental responsibility decisions and writing the parenting plan, the biggest considerations are what are in the best interests of the children. The Child Welfare Information Gateway discusses the factors involved:

  • Emotional ties with family members and caretakers
  • The emotional and physical health of all parties
  • The age and needs of the child
  • The ability of each parent to provide basic necessities and a safe home

Florida also takes into consideration the wishes of the child when making a decision.