What You Need to Know About Child Custody Laws in Florida for 2018

Going through a divorce is a challenging time for parents and children. Are you and your spouse separated and about to go through a divorce? Do you have a divorce attorney experienced in Florida child custody laws? Having the information you need about new child custody laws will assist in making the process less stressful and confusing — helping you to make the best decisions during this critical time.

About Child Custody Laws in Florida

Here is what you need to know about child custody laws in Florida for 2018:

“Standard Parenting Time Plan” Takes Effect

florida child support laws that are new

The 2018 Florida Statutes include a new “Standard Parenting Time Plan.” These time-sharing agreements were formerly called “custody agreements” and apply to divorced and separated couples.
It was made to give parents set visitation times and is intended to shift the focus to what is in the best interest of the children. Note: Standard Parenting Time Plans are not available in situations where child abuse allegations or domestic violence charges are involved.

Modifications to the agreement will be dependent upon work schedules and to help avoid any conflicts. Parents are encouraged to work together in the best interest of the entire family. In most of the cases involving Florida child custody laws, particularly if the parents live within 100 miles of each other and the children are over three-years-old, the plan would be:

  • the parent who owes child support would be the one who gets the child/children every other weekend, one evening per week, every other Thanksgiving break, and
  • shared custody/alternate times for spring, winter, and summer break(modifications will vary dependent on the particular agreement)


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Factors Affecting Child Custody in Florida in 2018

According to the new child custody statute explained above, Title VI Chapter 61.13, there are a number of qualifying factors and some limitations that can affect the Standard Parenting Time Plan.

An experienced divorce attorney has worked intensively with child custody laws in Florida and should be consulted to help you make the best decisions when it comes to legal matters affecting the family not only now, but that will be important for years to come until the child or children turn eighteen.

Some of the factors affecting these time-sharing agreements include:

  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child — such as discipline and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime
  • The geographic viability of the parenting plan — including the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling; this factor doesn’t create a presumption for or against the relocation of either parent with a child

Comprehensive information/factors detailed in the statute can be found here.


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Moving Forward and Taking Action for You and Your Family

During the trying time of a divorce and dealing with the new child custody laws in Florida, it is important to have appropriate legal counsel. This not only protects your parental rights but also provides you with the peace of mind you need to know that your children’s best interest will be front and center.

Dean Tsourakis has been helping clients through the divorce process since 2005. He knows the legal system and has successfully navigated countless clients through it, ensuring they get a fair and equitable arrangement out of the process. He is also well versed in the new Florida custody laws for 2018.

If you are going through a divorce or expecting one in the near future and are trying to figure out the arrangements for the custody of your child or children, you should consult an attorney. Contact us today to set up a free office consultation. Dean is here to help you through a divorce and the complicated child custody laws in Florida — guiding you through the tough times and dedicated every step out of the way.