Is Fifty-Fifty Timesharing about to be the Norm in Florida?

The following is a 4 part series from Fletcher and Phillips, Florida Timesharing Attorneys:

  1. Legal discussion on Florida’s 50/50 timesharing possibility.
  4. Florida Divorce Attorneys: SENATE BILL 668 vs. SENATE BILL 250

Senate Bill 668 & Senate Bill 250

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There are at least two (2) bills currently working their way through the Florida Senate that, if passed into law, would alter timesharing to include a presumption for fifty-fifty timesharing. Senate Bill 668 combines alimony reform with a revised preference for a fifty-fifty timesharing schedule; whereas, Senate Bill 250 is a stand alone proposal for fifty-fifty timesharing. Below is a discussion of each proposed bill.

First, let us discuss the law as it stands right now. The term “custody” is no longer used in Florida family law cases. Custody has now been divided into two concepts: parental responsibility and timesharing. Most parents share parental responsibility. According to Fla. Stat. 61.046(17) (2015), shared parental responsibility is “a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.” This means that if parents are awarded shared parental responsibility, then they should confer on what school a child attends, which doctor treats a child, or what religion guides the child.

Timesharing is how much time a parent spends with his or her child. Currently, most judges in Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns County follow guideline timesharing. If the parents live locally and local guidelines are ordered, then one parent is the majority timesharing parent and the other parent, or the minority timesharing parent, usually spends time with the child (or children) every other weekend, one evening per week, and every other holiday. If one parent lives outside the local vicinity, then, under long distance guidelines, one parent is the majority timesharing parent and the other parent, or the minority timesharing parent, spends time with the child (or children) in larger blocks of time (i.e. three-day weekends, every Spring Break, etc).

Under guideline timesharing, the majority timesharing parent has the child or children for approximately 70% of the time.

For information about your local county’s timesharing guideline schedule, contact an experienced Family Law attorney at Fletcher and Phillips at 904-353-7733.

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