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Sole Parental Responsibility

Sole Parental Responsibility. What does that even mean? Well, it means basically “sole custody” or that the child lives with only one parent.

And how does it happen? Florida believes that it’s important for minor children to have “frequent and continuing contact with both parties after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved.”

However, a court may order sole parental responsibility where it’s determined that there will be a future detriment to the child. A conviction for domestic violence creates a “rebuttable presumption” of detriment to the child. That means a parent with a domestic violence conviction faces the responsibility of proving to the court that they are not harmful to their child. Even without a conviction, evidence of abuse to either the child or the other parent may cause the court to determine that there is a likelihood of future detriment to the child.

Case law indicates that there is a hefty burden on the party who wants sole parental responsibility. The court must find that shared parental responsibility will be a detriment to the child and put that in writing. And, as stated above, the court is going to approach this with the belief that access to both parents is what’s best for the child.

If you have questions about parental responsibility call our office. The knowledgeable attorneys at Dunham and Ingram know how to help.