New Child Custody Laws in Florida – 2015


** UPDATE – April 30th, 2015 – In a surprise twist the alimony bill appears at a dead end for 2015. The legislative session ends on May 1st and with it any chance of reviving the bill.  Because that bill contained the new custody provision – any change is effectively dead for 2015.

 

*  March 22nd, 2015 – an add on to the Florida senate version of alimony reform bill creates a 50/50 starting point for all child custody decisions.  Because this provision is not contained in the companion bill, it carries little change of surviving the legislative session.  We will keep you posted.

After some significant changes to Florida child custody laws a number of years ago, there has been a drop off in legislative success regarding child custody. We have assembled a quick overview on proposed laws during the last decade, and the resulting success or lack of success.

This page will be updated each monty to bring you the latest news of new Florida custody laws.


* At this point nothing new in Florida child custody legislation will happen until the beginning of the 2015 legislative season.

 

2014 – died in legislature

SB 750 – Rights of Grandparents and Great-grandparents

 

This bill was an attempt to expand the custody and visitation rights of grandparents and great-grandparents in Florida. The Florids Supreme Court struck down previous laws giving grandparents some rights. This law was the latest attempt to reinstate the rights of extended family.

 

2014 – died in legislature

HB 789 – Rights Of Grandparents And Great-Grandparents

 

Another bill that attempted to establish grandparent visitation rights. The problem with many of these types of laws is that they directly affect established constitutional rights of parents.

 

2013 – died in legislature

CS/HB 19 – Grandparent Visitation Rights

 

One of a multi-year effort to grant visitation rights with children to grandparents on both sides of the family.

 

 

2013 – vetoed by Governor Scott

CS/CS/HB 231 – Family Law

 

This landmark legislation was and still is known as the alimony reform bill. A less controversial component, but relatively unknown, was a provision that required judges to begin their thinking with equal parenting time. This one provision would have changed the face of child custody law in Florida. Unfortunately the alimony provision received all the attention and caused the demise of the proposed law.

 

2013 – died in legislature

SB 1466 – Shared Parenting

 

The first attempt in Florida to create a law that steered judges to grant equal parenting time to both parents.

 

2008 – died in legislature

HB 1315 –Child Custody and Visitation

 

This proposed child custody law created a “presumption” that contact with any parent guilty of domestic violence was detrimental to a child. This law, if successful, would have created tremendous amounts of litigation over child custody, and domestic violence issues.

 

2008 – Child Custody – signed by Governor

 

Landmark Florida custody law that completely remolded the concepts custody attorneys work with every day. The law called for elimination of the Primary Residential and Secondary Residential titles. It also eliminated the term “visitation”. The 2008 new custody law required courts to approve a comprehensive parenting plan, consisting of over a dozen pages of detailed plans for parenting children. Finally, the law eliminated any presumptions that parenting time should be a given pattern. Many people mistakenly thought that change created a requirement that judges grant rotating custody in all cases.

 

2008 – signed into law by Governor

SB 2532 Relating to Child Custody and Support

 

This law started a larger trend – to equalize rights of both parents in child custody cases. This law changed the main title of the divorce and custody statutes to include the phrase: “Time-Sharing” and eliminated the word “Custody”. That new law also expanded protections for military members involved in a child custody case.


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Thank you Jeana for helping bring my Boy Home :) I could not begin to thank you enough. We look forward to better days for sure, thanks to you and all of your help. Thank you for being so fair and for working with our Family through these tough times. God Bless you!!

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