Talk With Alex
Portfolio - Family Law Legal Practice Area Example

Changes To Florida Child Custody and Time-sharing Laws - What You Need To Know

Florida is undergoing unprecedented changes to its laws regarding divorces and child custody, with another batch of bills recently signed into law by Governor DeSantis. Fathers wanting to take an active role in their child’s life will likely have an easier time under these new laws.

If you are a Florida resident undergoing a divorce involving children, this changing landscape makes having legal representation even more critical than it was just weeks ago.

Alex Brassil is aware of these new laws and is already utilizing them to argue in Florida courts on behalf of his clients. If you are facing a divorce and want to secure the best outcome for you and your children, contact our team today to get started.

So, what specifically changed about Florida Family Law?

The governor recently signed two bills into law:

HB 1301 – Parenting and Time-sharing of Minor Children

HB 775 – Shared Parental Responsibility after Establishment of Paternity

These bills have a lot of moving parts, and the minor changes they made to other areas of existing law will still impact cases in the future. However, most of the focus of these new bills has been on the changing way that Florida courts will look at fathers and their presumptive rights regarding their children, no matter the circumstances.

Let’s start with HB 1301.

Most importantly, this law creates a rebuttable presumption that equal time-sharing between father and mother is in the child’s best interest. In simple terms, 50/50 time-sharing is now the norm, although one side can lobby the court to change this time-sharing agreement based on a newly created standard of evidence.

As it stands, Florida does not currently have any statutes that favor the mother over the father concerning custody or time-sharing. However, Florida was once a state that followed the “tender years” doctrine. Under this thinking, children were better off living with a mother at a young age compared to a father. Even though this was abolished before these newest laws, the lasting impact has made many feel that fathers get the short end of the stick during time-sharing decisions.

It is important to understand that although 50-50 time-sharing is now the presumptive best option, this will not always materialize. Both parents are on equal footing at the beginning of proceedings, but the court can still make fact-based decisions that give one parent more time with their children.

If you currently have a time-sharing schedule with a former spouse, you may also have the option to modify this agreement. Contact a family law attorney today to find out what might be available to you.

Now, let’s talk about HB 775.

This new law completely shakes up the landscape of custody rights regarding unwed couples and their children. While this might seem surprising, Florida fathers, even if they were on the birth certificate or raised the child since birth, did not previously have any parental rights under the law if they were not married to the child’s mother.

Countless heartbreaking stories have emerged of fathers who desperately wanted to be involved in their children’s lives but were prohibited by law. Recently, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle decided that fathers, no matter the status of the relationship, deserve the same rights as mothers if they prove they are the biological father.

It’s not hard to see how many are calling these new laws a major turning point regarding fathers’ rights in Florida. Due to a combination of these new laws, a father who previously had little to no parental rights might soon be walking into court on equal footing with the mother.

Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney Today

Navigating family law court is hard enough when everything is set in stone. With these new laws putting the whole system in flux, you can’t risk going before a judge without experienced legal representation by your side.

Alex Brassil is a skilled and experienced family law attorney that is ready to help you secure your family's future. Contact us today to speak to Alex and explore your options.

Ready to get started? Let me
know how I can help!

Contact Me