The following is the third part of a 4 part series from Fletcher and Phillips, Jacksonville, Florida Alimony and Timesharing Attorneys:
- Is Fifty-Fifty Timesharing about to be the Norm in Florida?
- SENATE BILL 250 – EQUAL TIMESHARING BETWEEN PARENTS
- SENATE BILL 668 COMBINES ALIMONY & FIFTY-FIFTY TIMESHARING SCHEDULE
- Florida Divorce Attorneys: SENATE BILL 668 vs. SENATE BILL 250
Since Senate Bill 668 discusses alimony reform and timesharing, this bill is longer and more complicated. For our purposes, we are only going to discuss the timesharing portion of this bill.
Unlike Senate Bill 250, Senate Bill 668 is revising an existing statute. Without discussing the alimony reform issues, Senate Bill 668 does not seem as much of a drastic change as Senate Bill 250. If passed, Senate Bill 668 would revise Florida Statute 61.13 to read as follows:
F.S. 61.13 (2)(c)(1)
In establishing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, the court shall begin with the premise that a minor child should spend approximately equal amounts of time with each parent. Using this premise as a starting point, the court shall formulate a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule taking into account the best interest of the child after considering all of the relevant factors in subsection (3). It is the public policy of this state to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.
[revisions to F.S. 61.13(2)(c)(2) were omitted from this discussion because this section dealt with parental responsibility]
F.S. 61.13 (2)(c)(3)
For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. A determination of parental responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child. Determination of the best interests of the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that family, including, but not limited to:
(a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
(b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
(c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent. (d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child.
(f) The moral fitness of the parents. (g) The mental and physical health of the parents. (h) The home, school, and community record of the child. (i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
(j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, or disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
(k) The demonstrated capacity or disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
(l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
(m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.
(n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
(o) The demonstrated capacity or disposition of each parent to perform or ensure the performance of particular parenting tasks customarily performed by the other parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.
(p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular
(q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent
to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
(r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.
(s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs.
(t) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule.
The court shall make detailed written findings of fact which support and justify any parenting plan or time-sharing schedule that is not based on an agreement between the parents.