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Hands of parents fighting over their son each pulling him their way.

Joint Custody in Tampa Courts

Many people refer to joint custody as an option available to a dissolution of marriage with children. In the State of Florida many things changed within the last few years, forever changing how joint custody works in family court.

New Thinking About Children and Divorce

On October 1st 2008 the Florida government did away with the term “joint custody”. ┬áBy removing the term they also removed the thought process where either parent has control over the child and the other parent has no say over decisions relating to the child.

What This Means

Now both parents are equally expected to be a part of the children’s lives and they are also responsible for everything relating to the children. A father can spend as much time as he wishes with his children AND may get his child support lowered if he reaches a significant amount of overnights.

The whole point is to make parents work together to the benefit of the children.

How It Works

When a divorce with children is prepared nowhere will you find a question regarding joint custody. What you will find is a question about establishing parental responsibility and time sharing.

Very big difference from what it used to be.

Both parents are now expected to be able to sit down and figure out a schedule that works for the children. Both parents must be listed as emergency contact in school documents and either parent has a right and responsibility to take the children to the doctor, attend school meetings and functions and participate in any extracurricular activities.

The Challenges

For many exes they have difficulty getting along even for the sake of the children. Some try to sabotage the efforts of the other parent and like to play the victim role. Some exes do not have any interest in participating in any events relating to the children. I personally have seen many women try to take all of the responsibility up on themselves in order to push the ex away from them and the children, thinking this is the best course of action.

Unfortunately many fathers give up because they think that the court will side with the woman and not give him a chance to step up and be the father he really wants to be.


The Truth About Joint Custody
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