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Child custody and parental responsibility

Divorce is a fact of life for many Florida couples. Property is divided, debts are addressed and each individual begins life independent of the other. However, when children are involved, each individual still has parental responsibility that often require them to work together for the benefit of the children.

The degree to which they must work together typically depends upon the type of custody arrangement. In many cases, one parent retains physical custody of the children. This is the parent who is primarily responsible for taking care of the child on a day-to-day basis. This is the parent who the child lives with the majority of the time. Typically, the other parent has scheduled visitation such as every other weekend and two weeks during the summer or some other such arrangement that takes into account what is in the best interest of the children.

Although one parent may have sole physical custody, both parents often share legal custody. Joint legal custody means that the individuals share parental responsibility for making education, medical, religious and other such decisions regarding the children. This often requires parents to still make joint decisions regarding the children or risk having the matter go back before a Florida judge.

When it comes to child custody, Florida courts strive to do what is in the best interest of the children. Most of the time, this means that the parents will still share some parental responsibility. However, this is not always the case and may not always be what is best.

Source: family.findlaw.com, "The Various Types of Child Custody", April 28, 2018

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