In Florida What Are Grounds For Sole Custody and Parental Responsibility

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you move out of the state of Florida with a minor child, without permission of the other parent or without a court order allowing the move in the best interests of the child, you could suffer a loss of parental rights.   If you intentionally with hold time sharing from the other parent with vindictiveness and without good legal reason, you could lose parental rights.  If you harm the child physically, are an unfit parent, or neglect the child, you could lose parental rights.  If you have mental health issues or a history of repeated domestic violence, or drug habit, you could lose parental rights.

There are degrees of loss of parental rights.  In most cases, parents share in major decisionmaking in the upbringing of the child.  This includes schooling, religious training, extra curricular activities.  But where a parent is vindictive towards the other parent, using the child as an instrument of this vindictiveness,  or has any of the above mentioned issues, the court may grant sole parental responsibility and sole decisionmaking to the “better” parent.  Time sharing for the wrong doer may be supervised, if at all.  The wrongdoer may be ordered to counseling, parenting classes, and rehabilitation before normal unsupervised time sharing can be resumed.

In addition to losing shared parental responsibility, and having supervised time sharing, a wrongdoer parent, or an unfit parent may lose rights until rehabilitated.  The courts will step in if a parent has a DUI, uses drugs, neglects a child, parties til 4 am at the expense of the child, constantly leaves the child with strangers, takes a child to live outside of the jurisdiction without permission or court order,  cannot exercise responsible judgment regarding the child and a host of other circumstances.   If your spouse is an irresponsible or unresponsive parent, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at for more information.


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