West Palm Beach Parental Responsibility Attorney
Custody, which is now referred to as the parenting plan or “parental responsibilities” is often decided between the parents in an amicable fashion. In the best case scenario, parents share custody and are trusted by one another to not only hold up their side of the parenting plan, but to provide a high level of care and concern for the child, and to always make decisions with the child’s best interests in mind. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and a child custody hearing is the only way to come to an agreement on parental responsibilities. If it comes down to a disagreement, an experienced attorney becomes invaluable during negotiations and in the courtroom. Our West Palm Beach parental responsibility attorneys at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates, P.A. are here for you.
Four Types of Parental Responsibility / Custody Arrangements
Under statute 61.13, a parent is awarded custody rights or parental responsibilities, when it is in the child’s best interest. In Florida, there are four different types of “parental responsibilities.”
- Sole Legal Custody—One parent has all legal decision making abilities, including where the child lives, where the child goes to school, the child’s healthcare, and more.
- Joint Legal Custody—Both parents have legal (and equal) decision making capacity.
- Sole Physical Custody—The child lives with one parent only, while the other parent may have shared legal custody if they live far away.
- Joint Physical Custody—The child lives with both parents. This is usually only possible if both parents live fairly close by.
A parent may have visitation rights even if they do not have legal custody or physical custody.
What The Court Uses To Make a Decision
In many cases, even if there is an initial disagreement about parental responsibilities and the parenting plan, they can be resolved by working with your attorney, the other parent, and the other parent’s attorney to come to a mutual agreement. If such a compromise is impossible to come to, the matter will be decided by an impartial judge. The judge will potentially use the following set of questions, and more, to determine what is in the child’s best interest:
- Who has done most of the childcare up until now?
- What is each parent’s ability to financially provide for the child?
- How will each parent’s work schedule affect their parenting ability?
- What are the living arrangements of each parent?
- Are there relatives or grandparents on one side who can provide care for the child?
- What are the physical and mental health characteristics of each parent?
- Does the child have a preference about the parenting plan/who they wish to live with (if they are old enough)?
- Does either parent have a history of spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, addiction, or another negative quality that could influence their parenting ability?
Contact Our West Palm Beach Parental Responsibility Attorneys
Parental responsibility disputes can be highly stressful, contentious battles that can only be decided by a judge. In other circumstances, an experienced attorney can guide the parties into a mutually beneficial solution. In either case, our West Palm Beach parental responsibility attorneys will work toward a resolution in your and your child’s best interests. Call Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates, P.A. today at 561-688-0991 to schedule a free consultation.