Being a parent is very rewarding. While it is a positive experience, it is not always easy. This is especially true when parents decide to no longer remain married. Parting ways may be what is best for them, but children in Florida and elsewhere can be greatly impacted by this life event. Although divorce does not mean that a parent does not love a child any less, it does mean that one or both parents will see a child less. Child custody can look vastly different from one family to the next; however, in Florida, like most states, a push towards equal time is becoming the norm.

Law regarding child custody could greatly impact children and the parents that care for them. This is why divorcing parents should be aware of the changing laws and how they could directly impact their child custody matter. For Florida parents, this means keeping an eye on House Bill 843.

What would the passing of this bill mean for divorced or separated parents in the state? Currently, the child custody laws focus on the best interest of the child, putting them first when making decisions regarding custody and visitation. However, if this bill passes, it would technically put parents first. How could this be? This legislation would presume that the custody of the child should be 50/50, and if a parent does not agree, they are required to show that equal time is not in the best interest of the child.

While there are cases where equal parenting time is appropriate, there are also some situations where such an arrangement does not work best for the parents and the child. It is also important to note that this bill would roll back on certain important protections when it comes to an abusive or controlling former spouse. It would become a huge burden for victims, as they would need to prove that its not in the best interests of their child to live half of their time with an abusive ex-partner.

Child custody matters can quickly become complex and emotional. This can also make it challenging to navigate. Those going through a divorce or are dealing with custody matters post-divorce should understand that they do not need to do this on their own. A legal professional can help one understand what rights are afforded to parents as well as the options available one’s unique situation.