Presently, time-sharing refers to time allotted with the child(ren) for each parent. Parental responsibility is about decision making by each parent concerning the child’s life.
In the past the term “custody” would encompass all aspects of a child’s relationship with both parents after a divorce or paternity action.
The court will determine which parent may take the primary physical responsibility of the child(ren) based on what is in the best interest of the child (see the statutes for a complete list of factors).
If the judge orders time-sharing and parental responsibility (this is what is ordered in most cases) this means the parents must jointly make decisions for the benefit of the minor children.
Knowing the differences between these terms in a custody dispute for your children may be useful in court. In a Florida Courtroom, you will not hear the term “custody,” you will hear “higher percentage of time-sharing.
Florida has attempted to avoid labels that make it appear as if one parent is more important than the other, but this terminology change becomes confusing when you move to another state or have federal issues involved.
“Designation for Other Legal Purposes” is a legal concept required in Florida agreements to ensure that there are not enforcement issues in other bodies of law or different states that actually grant “custody” or assign one parent as the “primary residential parent.”
All of these terms, and what they really mean, can become confusing. You must be careful when using these terms, as they all mean something different, although you may think it is the same.
An attorney can assist you with navigating the legal jargon to be sure you understand what you are actually asking for in your domestic case.