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Family court judges may at any time during a divorce or paternity proceeding order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay child support.  If the family court judge orders payment of child support, the actual amount will be determined by child support guidelines adopted to ensure that children receive an appropriate amount of support.

Time-sharing schedule is a timetable that must be included in a Parenting Plan, that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent.  If developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child or children, it must be approved by the court.  If the parents cannot agree, the schedule will be established by the court in accordance to Florida Statute.

Parental Responsibility includes all the rights and responsibilities a parent or parents have for the welfare of their child or children.  Parental responsibility includes but is not limited to, major decision making regarding the child's education, religion, and medical care.

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Florida Family Statutes designed to favor the best interest of the child, including shared parental responsibility. 

When Florida family Courts establish or modify a parental responsibility or a time-sharing schedule, courts consider a number of best interest of the child factors.

Florida public policy is to encourage each parent to share parental responsibility and time-sharing.  See Visitation Guidelines.

In some cases, it is possible to reach an agreement on time-sharing and parental responsibility (generally called 'Uncontested Divorce' case). Whether the time-sharing schedule and parental responsibility is agreed to by the parties, or Court ordered, a Parenting Plan is the document which governs the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the Minor Child, and a time-sharing schedule.

If your case includes minor children you must complete a parenting class before the court will enter a final judgment.

Divorce and Minor Children

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Florida family law has replaced the term 'custody' with the idea of 'time-sharing' and 'parental responsibility'. When you file a family case in Florida court, courts are responsible for establishing a time-sharing schedule, parental responsibility and Child Support before entering a final judgment.  


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