Parental Responsibility and Decision Making

Parents in Florida divorce and paternity cases must agree to a “Parenting Plan” or have a judge decide on a plan.  Parents in collaborative practice work cooperatively with the collaborative mental health neutral and collaborative team to write the parents’ agreement that states the regular and holiday schedule and how they will share important decisions about with their children. Florida law calls this decision making authority “parental responsibility.”

The Supreme Court of Florida approved form parenting plans, including Form 12.995(a) – Parenting Plan (02/18) and Form 12.995(c) – Relocation/Long Distance Parenting Plan (02/18) give parents the option of agreeing on:

  • Shared parental responsibility.  This option states, “Either parent may consent to mental health treatment for the child(ren).”
  • Shared parental responsibility with decision making authority in one parent, if they cannot agree after conferring.
  • Sole parental responsibility – sole authority a parent has to decide for the child.  This option is based on shared responsibility being detrimental to the child.

Unusual circumstances might justify one parent’s having sole decision making authority when sharing decisions would hurt their child, but parents commonly agree to and courts order “shared parental responsibility” over decisions.  

⇒ Next:  Shared Parental Responsibility and Sole Parental Responsibility

⇐ Previous: Introduction – Consent to Child’s Mental Health Treatment

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