Florida Enacts New Child Time-Sharing Policies: How It Could Impact Your Pinellas County Parenting Plan
For parents, being able to spend time with their children helps form the basis for a strong relationship. A new Florida law aims at ensuring those who are divorced or unmarried continue to have frequent and ongoing contact. Our Seminole child custody attorney explains new guidelines that could impact your rights and how they factor into Pinellas County parenting plans.
New Law Presumes 50/50 Split of Parenting Rights And Responsibilities
Child custody and time-sharing is one of the most sensitive issues in a divorce. For parents, plans that are made during legal proceedings have the potential to impact their relationship with their children for years into the future. A newly enacted state law helps to ensure their rights are protected.
House Bill 1301 changes the existing guidelines when it comes to creating a parenting plan. Rather than simply encouraging child time-sharing arrangements, it presumes parenting time between them will be divided on a 50/50 basis. Parenting plans typically include the following:
- The amount of time the child spends at each parent’s home during the week;
- The right to weekend visitation and extended stays over birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions;
- The right to be active and involved with the child’s school;
- The legal authority to make important decisions regarding their child’s religious upbringing, medical care, and education.
The new bill was passed by the Florida Senate and House in April 2023. It was signed into law by Governor Ron Desantis recently and went into effect on July 1. While it helps to level the field in child custody cases, there are certain circumstances where parenting rights, custody, and visitation could still be restricted.
Factors That Impact Parental Rights In Pinellas County Child Time-Sharing Proceedings
Under the Florida Statutes, child time-sharing was generally encouraged in cases of divorced or unmarried parents, depending on the evidence presented by either side in court or during negotiations. However, the new law offers greater protections by automatically presuming equal time for both parents, barring any evidence that it would not be in the child’s best interests. This would include:
- Limited prior contact with the child or lack of involvement in their lives;
- Concerns over whether the parent could provide the care and support the child needs;
- Issues such as criminal behavior and drug or alcohol abuse;
- Allegations of domestic violence.
Request A Consultation With Our Pinellas County Child Time-Sharing Attorney Today
Child time-sharing arrangements aim to protect the rights of both parents, while protecting the best interests of children involved as well. Newly enacted Florida laws change how the court handles these cases. To find out if this could impact you and any parenting plans you create, reach out to Reep Law Firm.
Our Seminole child time-sharing attorney can review all the details surrounding your situation and advise you on the best course of action available. To discuss your options, call or contact us online and request a consultation today.