Over the past few years, Florida’s laws regarding child custody following a divorce has evolved dramatically. Under Florida Statutes Section 61.13(2)(c)(1), it is the public policy in Florida for minors to have “frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved.” The law further states that the presumption for or against the mother or father, as well as for or against any specific time-sharing schedules, when modifying or creating parenting plans for the parties’ children.
Section 61.13 is important because it because it has changed the landscape of child custody arrangements in Florida in the following ways:
- The “Tender Years Doctrine” has been Abolished
The “tender years doctrine” is a legal principal which has been in existence since the 19th century. The doctrine presumes that a child during its “tender years” (typically from birth to age four) should reside with the mother. In Florida, this doctrine has been abolished, and any custody arrangement premised upon it is grounds for reversal.
- Time-Sharing and Parenting Plans Have Replaced Child Custody
Back in 2008, the Florida Legislature did away with the concept of custody, choosing instead to implement the concept of time-sharing and parenting plans. During a divorce case, the court will no longer award sole or joint custody and will impose majority or equal time-sharing.
The parenting plan is a document that goes along with an arrangement for settlement that provides how the parents will parent the children after a divorce is effectuated. It can include such critical factors as a proper holiday time-sharing schedule, a time-sharing schedule, and provisions regarding child care, education, contact between the children and parents, travel, and extracurricular activities.
Attorney Beryl Thompson-McClary has 28 years of child custody litigation experience in the State of Florida and she is extremely dedicated to achieving the best results for her clients. Schedule a confidential consultation today at no cost to you by calling our Orlando, Florida office at (888) 640-2999.