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2018 Brings New Florida Divorce Laws and Parent Time Sharing Plans

2018 Brings New Florida Divorce Laws and Parent Time Sharing Plans

Florida parent time sharing plans in divorce cases will be different in 2018.  Bills passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott became law on January 1, 2018.  One of the laws will change how the children of divorced parents will spend their time between the two parents.

The goal is to shift focus to the best interests of the children, according to the new law and current family law trends.

Parents are being encouraged to work together to develop plans that work for both of them and the busy schedules of their children and avoid conflicts.  What used to be called custody plans is now known as parental time sharing plans. The plan would determine, among other things, where the child will live and how parental responsibility shall be shared.

In 2018 a new “standard parenting time plan” will be available to parents in this situation that establishes set visitation times if parents can’t devise their own schedule or the courts order a parenting plan. It covers the following (with modifications):

  • Every other weekend from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • One evening per week
  • All holiday breaks including Thanksgiving, winter, spring break and summer break

“If one parent doesn’t abide by the law and refuses to allow the other parent the ordered parenting time, then the parent can take it to a circuit court judge,” said Irene Sullivan, a retired family court judge. “Then they would have a hearing and a resolution of the case without having to file a petition.”

Additionally, the state of Florida has established the website through the Department of Revenue to streamline online payments for child support and management of child support cases for both sides.

The new parental time sharing plans do not affect divorce cases in which domestic violence or child abuse are an issue.

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