Shared Parental Responsibility in Florida: What Are My Rights?


By Whitney R. Lonker, Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.

Time after time with my child custody cases in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding counties such as Nassau, St. Johns, Clay and Putnam, the parties will enter into a stipulation or an agreement where each will retain all rights as mother and all rights as father and share in the parenting responsibilities of the child or children. Shared parental responsibility means that each parent retains full rights to have a say or input in major decisions regarding the child’s life just as if the parents were still residing under the same roof. The question then becomes what qualifies as a major decision? Decisions such as will the child get braces, will the child get glasses, what religion will the child practice if any, to what school will the child go, how will the child be treated medically and by whom all fall under the major decision category. The gray areas appear regarding the child’s hairstyle, clothing, etc. It is a good rule of thumb when the parties share parental responsibility to attempt to include the other parent in as many decisions as possible that will have an extreme affect on the child. If you have any questions regarding a divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, or modification of a final judgment matter, please call our firm for advice and support.

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