In Florida, courts may award shared parental responsibility, sole parental responsibility and ultimate decision making authority. Florida courts prefer to award shared parental decision making.
Shared parental responsibility means that parents are required to attempt to confer and reach agreement on major issues that affect the welfare of their children. Major decisions include the children’s education, extra-curricular activities, healthcare, social and religious training and general welfare. In the event that parents are unable to reach agreement on a major issue that affects the welfare of their child, the issue can then be resolved by the trial court.
Sole parental responsibility means that one parent can unilaterally make decisions on behalf of the parties’ child without consulting with the other parent. A Florida Court will award sole parental responsibility when the court determines that shared parental decision making would be detrimental to a child’s best interests.