Changing Parenting Plan to Sole Custody in Florida
by Nadieska from Miami, Florida, Miami-Dade County
I live with my son, 8 years old, here in Miami 7 years ago. I am an American Citizen, his father resides in Mexico and came here 1 or 2 times a years to see his son.
I agree with all the visits and communication. But, I am the one who takes all decisions about my son, education, school, hospitals, doctors, he lives with me.
His father send the child support from time to time, and at the time that he came here to Miami, I have to provide everything for them, transportation, emergencies for my child when is with him, and know that he does not give the best care, but one time I asked to a lawyer and he tell me that I have to let him like that because he have rights too.
I understand all this, and I took my precautions when his father comes. I want to keep all the visits, communication and everything, but I need to know what do I need to have the sole custody, physical and for all, because, I help him, I do everything for them to be together.
But at time that I ask him to sign a passport, he does not want and it is everything that he care about, when he does not take any decision about my son, not at school, or doctors, medical insurance, anything.
I need to know if is possible to get a paper that says that I am the legal guardian at least, because I already sign like that, always in any document. I will appreciate all your help, or any place that I can go. Thank you very much.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
The Supplemental Petition to Modify Parenting Plan, Timesharing Schedule and Other Relief form
should be used when you are asking the court to change the current Parenting Plan/time-sharing schedule. You can find the official form on the Florida Supreme Court's website, www.flcourts.org.
The court can change the Parenting Plan/Time-sharing schedule if the judge finds that there has been a substantial change
in the circumstances of the parties and the change is in the child(ren)’s best interests.
From what you wrote it sounds like you are the custodial parent and are already making all or almost all of the childcare decisions.
It may be the best path for you, to petition the court to modify your parenting plan
so that you are formally granted the authority you are already exercising. The fact that your child's father lives outside of the country may be persuasive enough to convince the judge that you need to be granted sole parental responsibility and decision making authority.
But, it may not be necessary to petition for sole parental responsibility, as this is for extreme cases where supervised visitation is often requested.
According to the Child Visitation Guidelines the definitions of "Shared Parental Responsibility" and "Sole Parental Responsibility" are as follows:
SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY means that both parents share the challenging decisions and responsibilities of rearing children. Shared parental responsibility is favored under the law. Notice:
Major decisions regarding education, discipline, religious upbringing, health care and other matters not a part of the day to day routine must be discussed and agreed upon, or, if the parents are unable to agree, the matter must be submitted to the Court so that a judge may decide which parent will make the ultimate decision in that area of the children's lives.
For example, one parent may be granted sole discretion to make decisions regarding health care, and the other parent may be granted sole discretion to make decisions regarding education, if specially requested and supported by the evidence in a particular case.
An alternative is SOLE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY in which one parent has the right to make ALL decisions relative to the children without consulting the other parent.
Sole parental responsibility is not favored under the law and is not granted unless the secondary residential parent is irresponsible, neglects or abuses the children, or there is some other reason supported by evidence which justifies sole parental responsibility.
Restricted or supervised visitation is not favored but may be necessary if the children will be placed in danger of abuse, neglect or other situations which require more protection for their physical, psychological or emotional well-being.
We provide these answers
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