Effective July 1, 2023, there will be a rebuttable legal presumption in favor of equal timesharing for both parents after divorce or separation. This means that there will be a starting point when determining custody and timesharing of children in Florida divorce. The Court will assume that equal time sharing is in the children’s best interests. This is a “rebuttable presumption” which means that a party who is not in favor of equal timesharing, after divorce or separation, can attempt to prove to a judge why it is not in the children’s best interests to have an equal timesharing schedule. A court would then be required to consider all of the evidence presented and weigh the best interest factors to determine if equal timesharing is what is best for the children, or rather, some other type of parenting plan and timesharing schedule. Some common reasons why a judge may order a schedule which is not equal time for both parents are: substance abuse, lack of historic involvement with the child, frequent travel for work, physical abuse or violence, overnight work schedule, or a physical/mental health disorder which detracts from a parent’s ability to care for the child. Every situation is different, so it is important to speak with an attorney to carefully consider your options.
Additionally, if the parents of the children are residing more than fifty miles apart at the time of entry of the last order on timesharing, and one parent moves within fifty miles of the other parent, then a court can consider this move in determining if a modification of the parenting plan is warranted.
For more information regarding this recent change in timesharing laws in Florida or to speak with an experienced divorce or family law attorney, call Vette Law at 561-531-9132.