What to Know About the New Changes to Child Time-Sharing in Florida (An Automatic Presumption for 50/50 Time-Sharing)
Custody and visitation are key issues for divorcing/separating parents. Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a reform bill that changes child time-sharing in our state. Under the new law, Florida will presume that a 50-50 time-sharing split is inherently in the best interest of the child. Notably, it is a rebuttable presumption. Here, our Boca Raton child custody attorney provides a more in-depth overview of Florida’s new child time-sharing laws.
Florida is a Best Interests of the Child State
Under Florida Statutes § 61.13, all custody matters—including child time-sharing cases—are subject to the “best interests of the child” legal standard. It is a legal principle that has long been at the foundation of custody disputes in Florida—and the new law does not change that fact. In any custody or visitation case in Florida, a family law court must resolve the matter with consideration for what is best for the child(ren). Other facts—such as what an individual parent desires—are secondary considerations.
Equal Parenting Time is Now Presumed in the Best Interests of the Child in Florida
How does the new law change custody and visitation cases in Florida? An award of equal parenting time (a 50/50 split) is now presumed to be inherently in the best interests of a child. In other words, Florida courts now assume that children will benefit most from spending equal time with both parents. To be clear, this is a rebuttable presumption. Courts are not required to award equal parenting time to parties in a custody case. Instead, an equal time-sharing arrangement is merely the starting point. It is presumed to be the best solution barring evidence to the contrary. Parents could jointly agree to an unequal child time-sharing arrangement or, alternatively, one parent could present compelling evidence that they should be awarded primary physical possession of the child.
Collaborative Solutions Can Be Especially Effective in Joint Custody Cases
In light of the new law, parents are encouraged more than ever to seek collaborative solutions in creating parenting plans. Mediation, negotiation, and cooperative problem solving can often lead to arrangements that best suit everyone involved, particularly the children. When parents actively participate in crafting their own schedules and arrangements, they can tailor the outcome to the family’s unique needs and circumstances. You do not have to take on the process alone. An experienced South Florida custody lawyer can protect your rights and interests each and every step of the way.
Speak to a Boca Raton Child Custody Attorney Today
At Williams & Varsegi, LLC, our Florida child custody lawyers are compassionate, knowledgeable, and solutions-focused advocates for parents. Have questions about Florida’s reformed child time-sharing laws? We are here to help. Give us a call now or connect with us online to set up your fully private, no commitment consultation. From our law office in Boca Raton, we handle child time-sharing cases throughout the entire area.