Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida vetoed a new state family law proposal, citing a highly contentious child custody component. The veto marked the second time in three years that the governor axed the legislation.
The proposal, which sought to create a formula for setting alimony payments, became hotly contested after it was amended to put forth a timesharing component requiring judges to first consider the premise that children equally split time between parents.
In announcing the veto, Gov. Scott argued that these specific proposed time-sharing changes risked upending Florida’s current family law policy, which seeks to prioritize the needs and best interests of the minor child. Specifically, the governor argued that the legislation would put too much focus on the needs and wants of parents, rather than give first consideration to children involved.
Though the veto drew a fair amount of criticism from lawmakers and state residents alike, those supporting the veto argued that the bill might have posed more problems than solutions. Representatives from the Florida Bar Family Law Section even went so far as to suggest that the legislation would have caused more litigation had it been signed into law.
Child Custody (Time-Sharing) in Florida
Dealing with the dissolution of a marriage is never easy. This is especially true in cases involving children, since it raises a number of new questions, such as those related to child custody, or time-sharing.
When a minor child’s time is split between two parents, it is known as time-sharing. Commonly referred to as child custody, time-sharing focuses on the concept that each parent shares equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to the minor child. However, this does not mean that time is automatically split equally.
In fact, the evolution of society and the American family has changed the very nature of child custody and time-sharing. Historically, the most significant factor in determining time-sharing was whether or not the parent was the primary caretaker. However, modern divorce, more often than not, involves parents who are both employed full-time, which is a key factor in setting and custody agreement or time-sharing order.
Although arguments may be made to increase or diminish a parent’s custody or time-sharing, doing so will require sufficient evidence that speaks directly to the reasons a parent is not deserving of time or custody. So, if a parent is looking to argue that they should have the majority of the child’s time, they will need to present the appropriate evidence before a judge.
If you or someone you know is considering divorce, or if you are experiencing a dispute regarding child custody or time-sharing, it is in your (and your child’s) best interest to consult with a qualified family law attorney as soon as possible.
Family Law Attorneys in Florida
That’s where the skilled professionals at the Anton Legal Group come in. Our firm serves as one of the premier family law resources throughout the Tampa area, and features a team of highly skilled professionals who focus primarily on family law matters, including those involving child custody or time-sharing. We are well versed in the latest Florida family law statutes, and can use our knowledge and expertise to help you devise a case that delivers the best possible results.
No matter what family law issue you are dealing with, our family law professionals can provide the help you need. In addition to child custody and time-sharing matters, our firm has also handled cases involving divorce, prenuptial agreements and alimony, as well as a number of other family law issues.
To schedule a preliminary consultation with a member of our team to assess your time-sharing case, call the Anton Family Law Group today at (813) 443-5249.