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Parental responsibility in Florida: Getting dads more involved

Fathers who aren't involved in co-parenting on a 50-50 basis with their former spouses rarely stay involved in their children's lives, according to a recent study. Parental responsibility in Florida means that the best interests of the child come before anything else and data suggests that children who have both parents involved in their lives -- unless abuse is an issue -- do better than those who don't. The courts in Florida ideally want both parents involved in the lives and upbringing of their children.

If a child's parents can't reach an arrangement about how to share parental responsibilities, a family court judge could intervene and make those decisions. So, if parents want to maintain some semblance of control, they will work toward coming to some mutually agreeable arrangement. There are a number of peer-reviewed studies that point to shared parenting being best for kids, and that holds true no matter what the parents' financial circumstances.

When kids are in an unequal visitation agreement, it has been shown that the noncustodial parent, who is usually the father, become uninvolved in the children's lives. Forty percent of these kids ultimately lose touch with that parent altogether. This situation is not beneficial for anyone.

If Florida residents are unsure of what parental responsibility entails, a family law attorney can be an enlightening source of information. A lawyer can also offer advice that is in keeping what he or she sees as being in children's best interests. When such details of the law appear to be cloudy, a lawyer may be able to clarify those points which seem confounding.

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  • The Florida Bar| Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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