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Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Orlando Divorce Attorney
  • Experienced DIVORCE ATTORNEY

Florida Now Gives Equal Treatment to Mothers and Fathers for Time-Sharing


For many years, family courts across the United States assumed that it was in the child’s best interest to spend more time with the mother after a divorce. Slowly but sure, this philosophy is changing. Many states are creating clear legislation that prohibits family courts from giving special treatment to either parent. This means that unless it is against the child’s best interests, they should expect to spend equal amounts of time with each parent. Florida’s new time sharing legislation continues this trend, and the Sunshine State now officially gives equal treatment to both parents.

What Does the New Legislation Say About Time-Sharing? 

The new legislation makes it very clear that there should be no inherent bias toward either the mother or the father when addressing, modifying, or creating time-sharing plans. The exact wording is as follows:

It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, there is no presumption for or against the father or the mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.”

Does This Mean That Parents Will Automatically Share Custody in a 50/50 Manner? 

There are many situations in which parents will not share custody in a 50/50 manner, despite the recent changes to Florida’s time-sharing legislation. The bill also states that:

The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.”

 In other words, the court will still consider the child’s best interests when creating time-sharing plans, and it is still possible for one parent to spend more time with their children than the other if it serves these best interests.

For example, one parent might have engaged in domestic abuse during the marriage. They might also have struggled with serious substance abuse. If these factors negatively affect the best interests of the child, family courts will still take them into account.

That being said, parents can indeed expect a 50/50 time-sharing plan if none of these are present.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Time-Sharing Attorney in Florida? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Orlando family attorney, look no further than Steve Marsee, P.A. We know that new changes in Florida’s time-sharing legislation can be difficult to keep track of. However, these new changes may provide you with a number of notable advantages as a parent. Perhaps most crucially, they could give you the chance to spend more time with your children. To discuss these changes in more detail, be sure to book a consultation at your earliest convenience.


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