All family cases with minor children must establish a parenting plan. This plan defines how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child. Additionally, it outlines the time-sharing schedule arrangements, and specifies the parent that is responsible for health care and school related matters.
Joint Custody, or Joint Parental Responsibility
Florida public policy assumes that it’s in the best interest of the child for the parents to have joint custody. In a typical joint custody scenario, both parents will be responsible for the child’s welfare and upbringing.
Sometimes the court will leave certain responsibilities and decisions as a joint matter, though some day-to-day decisions may be distributed to only one parent. The statute governing child custody lists the following guidelines:
Each parent must maintain a reasonable parent-child relationship, honor the time-sharing schedule, and display responsibility when divorce decree changes are required. Parental responsibilities should be equally distributed after the litigation, including third party participation.
Each parent must protect the child from the ongoing litigation with the child. This means they can’t share documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and they must refrain from disparaging comments about the other parent.
Satisfactory Living Environment and Geographic Viability
A child must be happy and satisfied in their environment. The distance from a parent’s house to the child’s school and the amount of time it takes to reach each parent is also an important when establishing a parenting plan. They must also offer the child a household without substance abuse.
General Parent Well-being
The divorcees are required to meet basic mental and physical health requirements to provide care for their child.
Both parents are expected to have strong morals and the ability to properly raise a child. They must also demonstrate familiarity with a child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things. They’re required to show continued participation and involvement in the child’s school and extracurricular activities. Each parent must provide a consistent routine, including discipline, schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
Responsibility is place on the divorcees to keep their former partner informed of issues and activities regarding the child, in addition to a unified form of discipline. Also, they must have the ability to cater to the child’s developmental needs.
Evidence Against a Parent
Evidence of domestic or sexual violence, or child abuse, abandonment, or neglect can be used as leverage for child custody. If either parent has lied to the court about criminal charges, they could lose a slew of privileges regarding their children.
The Child has a Choice
If a child is deemed by the court to of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and have the experience to specify a preference, the child can state their preferential parent.