Florida Law: Child Custody Basics
Child custody refers to the care, control, and maintenance of a minor. Child custody laws in Florida help determine which parent gets legal and physical custody. A parent with legal custody of a child can make educational, religious, medical, and disciplinary decisions. Through these laws, the courts will also decide who gets physical custody. The courts determine who gets physical custody to establish where a child will live.
There are two types of custody arrangements in the state of Florida. Child custody can be awarded to one parent (known as sole custody) or to both parents (known as joint custody).
With sole custody, one parent gets legal and physical custody of a child. In a joint custody situation, both parents share legal and physical child custody. In Florida, joint custody is called shared parental responsibility, and both parents must approve all decisions related to the child. In this situation, one parent is named the primary joint custodian and the other parent is granted visitation so the child has a primary residence, school, and a designated primary physician.