SLEIGH BELLS RING, DO YOU HEAR? – Authorized Custody Authorized Blogs Posted by Daniel Forrest

Daniel Forrest

What to do in Florida if you are ignored as a co-parent

If you are the divorced or unmarried parent of a minor child, there is a high possibility that you share the responsibility with the other parent to make important life decisions for your child. Regardless of your history together and the nature of your current relationship, the two of you are expected to become parents together for the good of your child.

So what can you do when the other parent refuses to work with you to make the best mutual decisions for your child?

Florida strongly supports shared parental responsibility
Florida law defines shared parental responsibility as “a judicial relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and obligations with respect to their child and in which both parents consult with each other so that important decisions are made that are in the best interests of the child Child concern together. “

When a court makes custody decisions – either in reviewing an agreed parenting plan or in creating a plan for parents who cannot negotiate an agreement – Florida law requires the judge to order joint parental responsibility unless it was “harmful” for the child. Shared responsibility parents collectively make important decisions related to health care, education, activities, and “any other responsibilities that the court deems unique to a particular family”, such as: B. Religious Affairs.

The court may take into account parents’ preferences for areas of responsibility and assign ultimate responsibility for certain decisions to one or the other parent or divide types of responsibilities between parents. You could even give one parent power over a decision-making area, but need to consult the other first. The judge must delegate decision-making powers in the best interests of the child.

Alternatively, if it is in the best interests of the child, the judge must assign sole parental responsibility for the decision-making to a parent. With such a strong preference for shared decision-making responsibility under the law, many divorced and unmarried parents in Florida seek to work out their responsibilities together.

What if the other parent isn’t working with you?
Does your ex make decisions without your input that you should make together? Or do they make decisions about things that you ultimately have the power to make decisions about? Don’t they consult with you when they should? The court expects you both to obey the court order, as the judge has determined that raising them together is in your child’s best interests.

If you are unable to address these issues informally, you can ask the court to clarify, enforce, or change the joint parental responsibility order:

Clarification: You can ask the court to clarify or interpret the court order so that the other parent understands their legal responsibility for working with you.
Enforcement: You can also apply to the court to enforce the shared parental responsibility order. In an extreme case of parental non-compliance, contempt for judicial process may be appropriate.
Change: The court may change a parenting plan if there is a “material, material and unexpected change in [factual] Circumstances ”and that a changed parenting plan would be in the best interests of the child.
The O’Brien v Crumley case suggests a possible basis on which to request a change in parental responsibilities. The Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals ruled that the mother’s story of failing to communicate with the father, even after many inquiries, supported the father’s sole responsibility for making decisions.

If the other parent isn’t helping in making decisions about your child, a Florida lawyer can assess your potential legal remedies.

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