Child Custody and Visitation – Have the Terms Changed in Florida?

Ever heard these terms?

Child Custody and Visitation - Have the Terms Changed in Florida?

Image courtesy of “David Castillo Dominici”;

  • Child Custody
  • Visitation
  • Custodial Parent
  • Non-Custodial Parent
  • Permanent Residential Parent

These are common terms used regarding divorcing parents and how they share time with their children. Not in Florida…not anymore, anyway. Out with the bad and in with the good, as they say.

Back in 2008, Florida law eliminated the above terms, reasoning that they were causing further animosity between divorced parents and consequently affecting their abilities to co-parent effectively for the benefit of the children. Now, mom and dad are NOT referred to as having “custody,” “primary residential custody,” or “visitation”. Instead, they are referred to as “parents having timesharing,” or as being “parties to timesharing schedules” which are outlined in Parenting Plans.

Florida law now requires that parental rights and responsibilities, including timesharing, must be established in a written Parenting Plan, developed by the parents and subject to court approval – or, if the parties are unable to agree, established by the court.

Timesharing and Parenting Plans both fall under the broader heading of Shared Parenting. For more information about Shared Parenting, check out these previous posts:

What’s the difference between shared parental responsibility and timesharing?

Shared Parenting in Florida Divorce Cases

The Pitfalls of Shared Parenting

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