New Law Presumes Equal Time In Tampa Child Custody Plans
In cases involving divorce or unmarried parents, child custody is often a hotly contested issue. Previously, both parties would need to convince the court that they should have equal time when it comes to creating a parenting plan. However, a recently enacted law now presumes child time-sharing will be evenly divided. Our Tampa child custody lawyer explains how this new law may impact your rights in these proceedings.
Parents Now Have Equal Rights When It Comes To Creating A Parenting Plan
Under the Florida Statutes, child time-sharing arrangements were previously encouraged among single parents and those going through a divorce. This was presumed to be in the child’s best interests and allowed both parties to remain active and involved in the child’s life. However, it was not uncommon for children to still spend the bulk of their time with one particular parent while the other got occasional visits.
Recent legislation is likely to change that. House Bill 1301 was passed by both the Florida Senate and the House of Representatives in April 2023 and was recently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. It now automatically presumes a 50/50 split between the parties involved unless there is evidence indicating it is not in the child’s best interests and could put them at risk.
The new law went into effect on July 1, 2023 and will likely impact parenting plans moving forward. These typically detail custody arrangements, including:
- The amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home during the week;
- The rights to overnight visits on weekends;
- The right to extended visits during school breaks, holidays, or other special occasions;
- The right to be involved in the child’s school and recreational activities.
Factors That Influence Parental Rights In Child Custody
The change in Florida law could mean that awarding one parent full custody and the other visitation could become a thing of the past. While this may work out in some cases, it could prove detrimental in others.
Rather than proving why both parents should be equally involved in the child’s life, the new law means you would need to provide evidence as to why child time-sharing should not be split 50/50. Common reasons why other arrangements may be needed include:
- One of the parties previously had only limited contact with the child;
- There are doubts about their ability to provide the nurturing and care the child needs;
- They are unwilling to work with the other parent in implementing child time-sharing arrangements;
- There are accusations of criminal behavior, drug or alcohol abuse, or domestic violence.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody is one of the most potentially volatile issues dealt with by the Hillsborough County Family Court. To ensure your rights as a parent and your child’s best interests are protected, request a consultation at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Call or contact our Tampa child custody lawyer online today.