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Understanding your obligations to your children

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2020 | Divorce, Family Law |

As a parent, you have many obligations to your children. There are a few obligations that the state government takes a particular interest in, especially in the wake of a divorce. The greatest emphasis is on fulfilling your child’s physical needs, although proper education is also a concern.

While the government prefers to stay out of people’s personal affairs to the extent possible, it has the power to impose penalties on parents who fail to fulfill their obligations to their children. In the context of a divorce, this could mean child support enforcement or loss of custody. It is important that you are aware of the obligations to which the government pays particular attention.


All states, including Florida, require that children meet baseline requirements as it relates to education and school attendance requirements. However, you do have options as to how you want to fulfill these requirements. Homeschooling is an option for parents who choose to take advantage of it. You also have the choice to send your kids to a private school or enroll them in a public school.

Medical care

Parents have a responsibility to provide adequate medical care to their children. This can sometimes conflict with parents’ religious convictions. However, if the condition is life-threatening, the state has the authority to override the parents’ wishes and intervene so that the child gets the necessary care.

Basic necessities

As a parent, you also have the responsibility to provide your children with necessities essential to life, including clothing, shelter and food. If you are a noncustodial parent, you often fulfill this obligation by paying child support.