In 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Bill CS/HB: 1301 Parenting and Time-sharing of Minor Children and with it, come several changes that affect time sharing arrangements for families in Florida.
One of the biggest changes is that now there is a rebuttable presumption of equal time-sharing of both parents. This 50/50 timesharing normally results in a week-on, week-off rotation between the parents.
Previously the law did not provide a presumption in favor of a specific timesharing schedule. In establishing timesharing, the court would consider the best interests of the child and evaluate all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child and the circumstances of the family. In every case modifying a parenting plan, including a timesharing schedule, the best interest of the child at issue would be the primary consideration. Pursuant to s. 61.13(2)(c), F.S., a court may only modify a parenting plan and timesharing schedule after a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances has been established.
The new law no longer requires there to be an unanticipated change in the circumstances. In the wake of signing of Bill CS/HB: 1301 Parenting and Time-sharing of Minor Children by Governor Ron DeSantis comes new legislation that allows parents who are relocating more than 50 miles to modify their current time-sharing plan without having to prove a substantial and material change in circumstance.
"With respect to a parent’s relocation, there is no current presumption in favor of or against a request to relocate with a child when the relocation will materially affect the current timesharing and contact with the other parent entitled to timesharing.
The bill removes the requirement for modifying a parenting plan that the alleged substantial and material change in circumstances which warrants modification must also be unanticipated.
The bill also creates a rebuttable presumption that equal timesharing is in the best interest of the child at issue. To overcome the presumption, a party must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that equal timesharing is not in the best interests of the child. The bill also clarifies that a parent’s relocation to be closer to his or her child, under certain circumstances, is a substantial and material change in circumstances for the purpose of modifying the time-sharing schedule and parenting plan."
Find out how this affects your situation today and give our attorneys a call to get started on your modification, if this applies to you.