August 19, 2021

Custody, Time Sharing, and Parental Responsibility in Florida

For a parent in Florida seeking a divorce, there are many key processes one must go through to ensure the smoothest transition possible. The parent’s priority is staying in touch with your children and always maintaining your presence in their lives with available means.

Florida has a more liberal approach for those looking to legally separate from their spouses. Thanks to advances in the state’s legislation and guidelines for family law, it’s much easier for parents to protect their children and their parental interests. 

As you secure parental rights over your children and protect them and your rights, you will run into various legal terminologies that you need to be especially aware of when seeking legal protections: 

  1. Parenting Plan;
  2. Timesharing Schedule; and
  3. Shared Parental Responsibility.

These terms are often mentioned and grouped together in existing reference materials, so you might be wondering what sets them apart from one another. They sound vaguely similar, but they are all different concepts that the state’s laws recognize as individual forms of custodial protections. 

To help you tell the difference between these three key terms, Dorsey Law JAX’s professionals have put this guide together on everything you need to know for telling them apart (and later on using them to your advantage):

Parenting Plan

Every final judgment of divorce and paternity that involves children must include a parenting plan. The parenting plan establishes which parent is responsible for certain activities or rights of their children until they are of legal age. Additionally, this concept outlines whether parents can maintain equal or unequal parenting over their children, follow a staggered approach, or have one partner handle all needs and obligations.

Time Sharing

In the context of Florida law, time sharing refers to the plan that parents develop with one another regarding how much time their kids should spend with each of them. Time sharing is a particularly important concept because the courts seek to maintain and enforce the ability of both parents to maintain continuing relationships with their children.

Shared Parental Responsibility

In legal terms, parental responsibility dictates how important decisions will be made on behalf of children. This particular concept refers to choices encompassing a dependent’s educational, medical, and religious needs. 

Florida courts most often order shared parental responsibility to both parents for the child’s best interests. But if one parent is unfit to provide for the child’s best interests and welfare due to detrimental circumstances (drug or alcohol addiction, domestic violence, among others), sole parental responsibility may be imposed depending on the circumstances.

To best understand what you can attain through these legal concepts, you must consult with a legal expert like Dorsey Law JAX to map out your options!


As a parent looking to secure the role you have in your child’s life, you must become familiar with the concepts of shared parental responsibility, parenting plan and time sharing in Florida. Once you are more familiar with these law concepts and understand what they entail, you can easily circumvent any problems that may come about during your divorce.

When going through legal disputes, it’s essential to have a respected lawyer stand by your side and give you the best legal advice possible. Finding an experienced and knowledgeable trial attorney will mean that all of your needs are met. Contact our experts at Dorsey Law JAX today!


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