Under current Florida law, sharing child custody involves court-approved parenting plans for “timesharing.” When determining issues relating to timesharing, Florida law requires courts to evaluate certain factors related to the best interests of the child. Florida Statutes § 61.13 lists 22 factors to determine parental responsibility and the development of a parenting plan.
However, in 2016, Senate Bill 668 (SB 668) introduced reforms to both Florida’s alimony and custody laws. Opponents of SB 668 argued that the proposed reforms would disrupt the focus of child custody determinations, shifting priorities away from the best interests of the child toward the parents’ interests.
SB 668 proposed additional language to Paragraph (c) of subsections (2) and (3) of Florida Statutes § 61.13 referring to a “premise” of equal timesharing between divorce parents of minor children:
“In establishing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, the court shall begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent. Using this premise as a starting point, the court shall formulate a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule taking into account the best interest of the child after considering all of the relevant factors in subsection (3).”
Under Subsection (3) of the current law, courts must evaluate 22 factors that affect “the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that Family.”
Former Governor Rick Scott vetoed SB 668, saying that “Current law directs a judge to consider the needs and interests of the children first when determining a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. This bill has the potential to up-end that policy in favor of putting the wants of a parent before the child’s best interest by creating a premise of equal time-sharing.”
However, the newly elected governor, Ron DeSantis, may ratify a legislative effort that proposes similar reforms to SB 668 which was introduced in 2016
Call Our Altamonte Springs Divorce Attorneys
Divorce can be difficult, particularly when minor children are involved. You don’t have to deal with a divorce by yourself. At the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, LLC, our legal team led by Attorney Hershkowitz can ease the burden of handling the legal aspects of your separation, to make sure you and your children’s best interests are given fair consideration.
Ready to get started? Contact our office at (407) 753-4111 or visit us online to arrange for a consultation to explore your legal options.