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New Florida Shared Parenting Plan Law for Non-Married Parents in Effect for 2018


At the start of each new year, there is typically a lengthy list of new laws that go into effect all around the country, and 2018 was no different. One of the new laws that went into effect at the first of the year deals with shared parenting plans for unmarried parents in Florida.

Senate Bill 590

Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 590 into law mid-2017. Effective from January 1, Florida’s Department of Revenue can provide unmarried parents with a potential Standard Parenting Time Plan. In certain eligible cases involving paternity and modification of child support, this is a way to settle time-sharing issues without involving the court to make the determination. It is believed the new law will help foster additional contact between children and the non-custodial parent.

In the event that the parents cannot agree on a custody parenting plan, they would still be referred to a circuit court judge to help create a parenting time plan. If one parent fails to abide by the law and refuses to let the other parent see the child during the scheduled parenting time, he or she can take it before a circuit court judge. At that point, the court would schedule a hearing and the case would be resolved, but there would be no need to file a petition.

Just to clarify, this new law relates to unmarried parents. Existing Florida law already requires those who are in the middle of a divorce, and have minor children, to make a parenting plan. Parenting plans are required in all time-sharing instances, even when the time sharing itself is not in dispute. It is important to note that if an agreement can’t be reached and the court needs to intervene, the court may devise its own plan and not factor in any existing recommendations.

Time-sharing cases can take several forms based on the individual family’s situation. The most common case is usually a straight-forward time-sharing situation, but other scenarios include supervised time sharing or long-distance parenting and/or relocation.

Parenting Plan Guidelines

When it comes to developing a parenting time-sharing plan, it needs to spell out a number of specifics. It should talk about the responsibilities and duties that each parent will take on, including how daily tasks are to be handled, how the child/children are to be raised, etc. The time-sharing schedule should be spelled out clearly, detailing what specific times the minor child/children will spend with each parent. Don’t forget that special occasions and holidays need to be factored in here. To keep each parent accountable, the parenting plan should talk about how each parent will communicate with the child. This includes what methods or sources of technology they will each use. One other important area to consider is deciding who will be responsible for school-related topics.

Hiring a Boca Raton Family Lawyer

Because emotions are always involved, developing a shared parenting plan may be a difficult task to do on your own. Since parenting plans should put the needs of the minor children first, hiring a skilled Florida family law attorney is in the best interest of all involved parties. Contact the Law Office of Schwartz | White at 561-391-9943 and let our Boca Raton-based attorneys help with all your child custody needs, and any other family law related issues.



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