Custody and Visitation
Custody and Visitation Questions? Let our Orlando Custody Attorneys help you understand these terms. We notice that many people are confused when dealing with custody and visitation. We find that many times people will say they want full custody or sole custody not knowing what that really means. in Florida, when we discuss custody and visitation of a child we use the terms parental responsibility and time-sharing. We find that once a person understands the options and the differences it helps with their custody case.
There are several options as it relates to parental responsibility. Parental Responsibility relates to what parent gets to make decisions as it relates to the child for things such as medical, education and other daily matters. They are as follows: Shared Parental Responsibility; Shared Parental Responsibility with ultimate decision making and Sole Parental Responsibility. Pursuant to Florida Statute 61.13(2)(c)(3) states “[t]he court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.” That means that the court orders shared parental responsibility unless a party can show the court that it would be detrimental to the child at which time they can order one of the other options. for the courts to order Sole Parental Responsibility a specific factual finding as to why Shared Parental Responsibility would be detrimental to the child must be made. the courts use the facts as stated in Florida Statute 61.13(3) when making this determination.
When the courts discuss what times the child will spend with each parent they are referring to the time-sharing schedule which is often referred to as the visitation schedule. When the parties are unable to reach an agreement as to time-sharing the courts will make the decision for the parties. Again, the courts will look at Florida Statute 61.13(3) when making this determination and will consider things such as a parents work schedule, the distance between the parents homes, how far each one resides from the child school, who has been the child’s primary caregiver for things such as bath time, feeding, doctor appointments, homework etc. Essentially, they look at all factors that relate to the child and make a determination as to what they believe would be in the child’s best interest.
Supervised time-sharing is not ordered unless there is a legal factual basis for doing so. the courts to order supervised time sharing would need to spell out the facts and factors that apply that make it necessary. There are several reasons why a court may order supervised time sharing but some are things such as a substance abuse issue, criminal history, sex offender etc.