Protecting Your Rights | Personal Injury

How Can I Get Full Child Custody in Florida?

A parent’s first thought when they are entering a divorce is normally of their children. Most parents are accustomed to spending every single day with their child. The idea of that changing can be terrifying. Most parents are resistant to the idea of sharing time, which is why one of the questions that we receive most often is “How can I get full sole custody of my child?”

Let’s start here: there is no such thing as full child custody in Florida. In fact, there is technically no such thing as “child custody” in Florida. Somewhat recently, Florida revised their child custody process in order to better meet the “best interests” of the child. Central to those best interests is having both parents in their life.

There are two important factors outlined in all child custody cases in Florida: Parental Responsibility and Time Sharing. Parental Responsibility is the ability to make major life decisions about the child, such as where they will go to school, how they will spend their time, and any medical issues. Parent Responsibility is almost always awarded jointly to both parents regardless of anything else. It allows both parents to make decisions for their child and requires them to keep the other parent informed.

Time Sharing is Florida’s version of what most people think of as Child Custody. It refers to the amount of time that the child spends with each of their parents. This system was created to replace an older system that chose a “primary” and “secondary” parent, in an effort to eliminate mother favoritism in the court. Time Sharing is chosen as part of the overall Parenting Plan that is created when a couple gets divorced.

Time Sharing is awarded to both parents, in keeping with the guiding principle of a child’s best interests. In Florida, a parent cannot be completely shut out of their child’s life. If there is a legitimate safety issue with the child visiting their parent, the court may choose to deny overnight visits with that parent or require all time spent together be supervised. These provisions are only for extreme circumstances. Generally, Florida works hard to let both parents spend time with their children.

When it comes to child custody, the reality is that there is no such thing as sole custody in Florida. There are, however, still opportunities to navigate Time Sharing to get the most out of it. For any help with family law or child custody, contact Sutton Law Group today. We’re here when and where you need us!

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Sutton Law Group

Sutton Law Group is a leading Miami law firm that has served both personal and business clients since 1985. We provide legal services in the areas of personal injury, commercial litigation, construction injury, real estate, criminal defense, and estate planning.

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