TMZ.com reports that retired mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell requested “full custody” of his child in a California courtroom:
Chuck Liddell is in an L.A. courtroom asking a judge for full custody of his son, after the boy allegedly told him he didn’t want to live with his mom anymore.
Sources tell us 12-year-old Cade was visiting Chuck from Colorado, where he lives with [his] mom, Lori Geyer. Chuck claims the boy was depressed and upset and didn’t want to go back. And, Chuck says, Cade complained that he was “living with a severe toothache for 2 to 3 months.”
Chuck took Cade to a dentist, but feels his son’s “health and safety are at risk.”
Chuck’s lawyer mentioned in court the boy was allegedly abused by being forced to perform physical labor — including snow removal.
Though I frequently use the term “custody” when explaining family law issues to clients, the fact is that Florida courts no longer rule on “custody.” Instead, a Florida judge will enter an order concerning “time-sharing” and “parental responsibility.”
Though this may seem like mere semantics, it is important to know what to ask for, and what a judge will grant.
Time-sharing is the amount of time each parent will spend with a child. You may have heard of this concept referred to as “physical custody.” In Florida, there is a presumption that it is in the best interests of a child to spend time with both parents.
Generally a party will request one of the following:
- 100% Time-Sharing- This is a request that the child spends all of the time with one parent, and no time with the other parent (this request is hardly ever granted, unless a parent has a history of child molestation, violent criminal offenses, or repeated injunctions for protection against domestic violence);
- Majority Time-Sharing with Limited or Supervised Time-Sharing with the Other Parent- This is a request that one parent’s visitation be restricted by, for example, requiring that he or she attend an anger-management course or classes to help cope with addiction to drugs or alcohol. A parent may also request that the other parent’s time with the child be supervised by another responsible adult or at a court-approved supervised visitation center. A court is unlikely to grant this request unless there is a showing that unsupervised or unrestricted time-sharing would be detrimental to the child;
- Majority Time-Sharing- As the name implies, this is a request that a child spends most of the time with one parent;
- Equal Time-Sharing- Again, pretty self-explanatory. This is a request that each parent spends equal time with a child; or
- Substantial Time-Sharing- This is a term of art. Pursuant to the recent changes in section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes, this a request that a child resides with a parent at least 20% of the time.
Parental Responsibility is the authority to make decisions regarding a child’s healthcare, religion, education, and other choices unique to the family. You may have heard parental responsibility referred to as “legal custody.”
A party will request one of three possibilities for parental responsibility:
- Shared Parental Responsibility- This is a request that the parents confer and make major decisions together. This is the request that is most often granted;
- Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority Delegated to One Parent- This is a request that the parents confer on major decisions but one parent has the right to make final decisions on certain issues; or
- Sole Parental Responsibility- This is a request that one parent has the right to make major decisions regarding the child without conferring with the other parent. This request will rarely be granted unless there is a showing that, due to extra-ordinary circumstances such as a history of domestic violence or violent crime, it is in the child’s bests interests that the parents not confer regarding major decisions.
If you have questions regarding time-sharing or parental responsibility and you wish to speak with a family law lawyer in Tampa Bay, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.