Shared Parental Responsibility vs. Sole Parental Responsibility…what are the reasons?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In family law in the state of Florida, there is a presumption that parents should equally share in the major decisions concerning the upbringing of their children.  This Florida statute is called “shared parental responsibility”.  But there are reasons for SOLE parental responsibility, that is where the court orders that only the “better parent” make major decisions regarding the upbringing of a child.  The court will do what is in the best interests of the child/ren.

Here is a check list of why courts might order SOLE parental responsibility in the best interests of the child/ren:

1.  If one of the parents has a serious mental illness.

2.  If one of the parents is far superior parent.

3.  If one of the parents is neglectful, totally irresponsible, abusive, or simply has no interest in the child/ren.

4.  If one of the parents is a sexual predator, child molester, or otherwise a pervert.

5.  If one of the parents is totally unfit to be a parent.

6.  If one of the parents is incapacitated.

Parents are expected to administer medicine properly, pick up and drop off children at school timely, monitor children so they stay out of harm’s way, feed and clothe them properly, care about them, pay attention to them, help with their homework, participate in their lives.  If a parent will not or cannot perform as a parent should, the other parent should litigate for SOLE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY in the best interests of the child/ren.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, 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.

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.

What If HeShe Won’t Return The Child?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have a court order in place giving each parent a time sharing schedule.   The other parent won’t return the child per the court ordered schedule.  You can do one of several things:

You can call the police and maybe they will intervene and maybe they won’t.  It depends upon how busy they are at the moment.  The real truth is that keeping one’s own child is not a criminal act unless the child is removed from the country.  Otherwise it is a civil matter and up to the discretion of the police if they want to get involved. 

You can call your lawyer.  The lawyer will file for an immediate pick up order if the child is endangered.  Or if not, the lawyer will file a motion for contempt and enforcement of the court order.  However, this takes time to get into a court hearing.  Such issues are not seen as emergencies by the judge unless the child is somehow endangered.

You can appeal to the common sense of the wrong doing parent.  This usually does not work.

Where there is no court order for time sharing or custody in place yet, as in a paternity case that has yet to be adjudicated, or in a divorce case that is still pending and time sharing has not yet been established, that makes it more difficult to control.

The best advice is to get some arrangement agreed upon and make into a court order as soon as possible.  That way, if one of the other parent keeps the child without permission, and in violation of the court order, you have recourse.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, 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.

What Is A Parenting Plan?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce court, the job of the judge is to protect the children.  One of the ways is to get the parents to agree on a course of action whereby they both will have a fulfilling relationship with their children.  The court has devised a parenting plan template which takes into consideration the time sharing of each parent, by agreement.  Judges do not like to micro manage people’s lives, so if they can agree to a time sharing arrangement on their own, judges prefer that.

A time sharing plan takes into consideration the work schedules of the parents, the school schedules of the children, the after care programs, sports programs, and other activities of the children.  It also puts forth a workable schedule for holidays such as which parent gets to spend Christmas eve with the kids, who gets to spend Christmas Day…who get Thanksgiving Day this year, who next year…what to do on the child’s birthday, and so on.

Parenting plans are very specific as to time for pick up and drop off and locations.  This works especially well where the parents do not live closeby to each other.  It even can regulate expenses for children’s travel on air planes.  Parenting plans become court orders and are usually accompanied by default schedules put forth by the court.  Both are enforceable by a judge to protect the child’s relationship with both parents. 

If you are thinking about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, consult with 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.

Paternity Cases Are Easy To Prove With DNA

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Paternity cases are perhaps the most fun for a family law attorney because the male either is or isn’t the father of the child in question.  Thank goodness for DNA and the advanced DNA testing available to everyone today.

A DNA test is a simple as a cheek swab.  Both the “father” and the baby are tested and the results either match or they don’t. 

If they match, the father has parental rights as well as parental obligations, i.e. child support.  If they match, the mother can’t move with baby out of town unless the father gives permission or the court allows it.  Mommy also has to provide time sharing for daddy.  Relocation cases are a bit more difficult than paternity cases because the burden is steep on the one who wishes to relocate with baby.  The standard is best interests of the child.

With so many couples living together without wed lock, I have seen a huge increase in paternity cases in my practice.  If you are not sure who the daddy is, call us to help.  For more information call one of the family law attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at for more information.

Paternity: Is that my child?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

He may look just like you…he may have your last name on his birth certificate…he may be supported by you as your son, BUT he may not be your child.  Fathers everywhere are paying child support for children that are not their biological children. 

Just because the mother says the child is yours, does not mean it is true.  The mother may not even know herself.  There is something legally you can do to determine with certainty whether or not a child is your biological child.  In Palm Beach County, Florida, we attorneys file what’s called a Petition To Determine Paternity, Custody, Child Support, Visitation and Shared Parental Responsibility.  Through the process, we go to court to get the judge to order a paternity test.  This is the DNA test you read about.  Both you and the child need to be matched through DNA.  If there is no match, you are not the biological father.  If you are not the father, and NOT MARRIED to the mother when the child was born, then you will be off the hook for child support.  There is a glich in the law that says a child born of an intact marriage is presumed to be a child of that marriage.  However, in divorce situations, with DNA testing, oftentimes the father is not the father and he is relieved of child support obligations.  For more information go to the website of Robin Roshkind, P.A. at or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.