Best Interest Factor #2: Dividing Parental Responsibilities

When judges in Florida family law cases make a decision about your children and the timesharing schedule for each parent they use the “best interest of the child” standard that is set forth in Florida Statutes section 61.13. There are twenty different factors that the Florida legislature has determined the courts must review and analyze before fashioning a parenting plan and time sharing schedule for the parents. This article will address the second factor. The second factor listed in the statute is as follows:

"The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties."

The court wants to know how the parental responsibilities will be divided after the case is over. For example, who will be responsible for waking the children up in the morning to get them ready? Who will drive them to school in the morning and who will pick them up? Who will help the children with homework and school tasks? Which parent will take the children to and from extracurricular activities and the like. The court is also interested in knowing if any of these responsibilities will be delegated to third parties. In my experience, the court wants to see that the parents are handling the majority of the parental responsibilities, as opposed to delegating those responsibilities to third parties. Third parties, under the statute, include new spouses or family members. Analyzing the twenty factors under this statute and determining what facts in your case apply can be a complex and time intensive matter. Contact your expert family law attorney for a more in depth analysis of how the facts of your case can be analyzed and applied to this factor.