Call for a Free consultation
(813) 405-1509

What is Parental Responsibility in Florida?

parental responsibility in floridaIn most divorces, children are the most hotly contested issue. This is why it is essential to understand parental responsibility and to work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the court system when it comes to custody and responsibility issues.

In Florida, parental responsibility refers to a parent’s decision-making responsibility regarding their child’s physical, educational, and mental health. Many families have shared parental responsibility. Both parents play a role in making decisions for their children. In other cases, one parent has sole parental responsibility and can make decisions for their child without consulting the other parent.

Understanding the difference and how to create an arrangement that works for your family is essential. Here’s what you need to know.

Determining Parental Responsibility

In Florida, courts encourage both parents to play an active role in their child’s life. Parental responsibility is typically shared unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The court considers several factors when determining parental responsibility, such as:

  • Child’s relationship with each parent
  • Ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs
  • Each parent’s ability to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Child’s preference, if the child is mature enough to express a reasoned opinion
  • Length of time a child has lived in a stable home and the desire to maintain that continuity
  • Mental and physical health of the parents and their moral fitness
  • Ability to create a stable home, provide necessities, and meet the children’s needs
  • Willingness to allow the children contact with the other parent
  • Commitment to not involving the children in legal proceedings
  • Whether or not there was domestic abuse

Types of Parental Responsibility

In Florida, there are three types of parental responsibility:

  • Shared Parental Responsibility: This is the court’s statutorily preferred type of parental responsibility. It involves both parents sharing the responsibility for making major decisions in the child’s life.
  • Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority: In this type, both parents share parental responsibility, but one parent has the final say in making major decisions.
  • Sole Parental Responsibility: In this type, one parent has the sole authority to make major decisions regarding the child’s life.

Impact on Time Spent with a Child

In cases where both parents have shared parental responsibility, the court will consider the best interest of the child when making decisions about custody and time spent with a child.

In cases of sole parental responsibility, the other parent may not have any decision-making authority, but they may still have the right to timesharing.

Modifying Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility may be modified in the event of a significant change in circumstances, such as a relocation or changes in the parent’s conduct or ability to care for the child. The court will also review and modify parental responsibility arrangements if there is evidence of abuse, neglect, or other harmful behaviors.

Understanding parental responsibility is essential to navigating the complexity of child custody laws in Florida. It is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you understand parental responsibility and protect your rights in divorce cases. Remember that the ultimate goal of parental responsibility is to ensure the best interest of the child is always protected.

If you need assistance with an issue related to parental responsibility or parenting time issues, we can help. Contact FL divorce and parental responsibility attorneys at (813) 405-1509 for a consultation.

  • Call (813) 405-1509 anytime, or use this contact form, for your free initial consultation.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Robert Marc GellerClients’ ChoiceAward 2017

Robert Marc GellerReviewsout of 32 reviews




Schedule a Consultation


  • Call (813) 405-1509 anytime, or use this contact form, for your free initial consultation.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.