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Legal Information: Florida


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Laws current as of October 6, 2023

Who can get custody (sole/shared parental responsibility) of a child?

Generally, both parents can get sole/shared parental responsibility and time-sharing in Florida. It is the public policy in Florida to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and that both parents should be encouraged to share the rights and responsibilities and joys of child rearing. There is what’s known as a “rebuttable presumption” that equal time-sharing is in the best interests of the minor child. This means that the judge will assume this is best for the child but a parent can show evidence to the judge to convince him/her that equal timesharing is not in the child’s best interests. Unless the judge determines that it would be harmful to the child, the judge will order shared parental responsibility and will order both parents to spend as much time as possible with the child(ren).1 

Note:  A member of the child’s extended family may be granted temporary or concurrent custody of a child but only under limited circumstances. For more information, see I am a member of the child’s extended family (grandparent, sibling, etc.). Can I get temporary custody of the child?

1 F.S.A. § 61.13(2)(c)(1), (2)(c)(2)