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2018 brings new child custody laws to Florida

The new year brings new laws to the Sunshine State. Among the pack are new laws regarding child custody agreements, now known as divorce and time-sharing agreements in Florida. The state has set new guidelines to help parents come to an agreement regarding time-sharing when the parents are unable to do so on their own.

The rules come as part of an overhaul that has been occurring over the past few years in the child custody policy field. Starting this year, a new standard parenting time plan is now available for parents who just can't seem to agree. The judge can easily determine how the custody will be split by using the new formula.

As part of the new time plan, parents will alternate every other weekend from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday. The plan also covers one evening per week and all holiday breaks. The included breaks are Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break and summer break. The new law aims to keep the best interests of children in mind, and follows current beliefs and research that shared parenting time is better for kids overall. 

Of course, parents are encouraged to work together to create a customized plan that can easily integrate with the need of the entire family. In the absence of such a family-directed plan, the standard parenting time plan could be a useful alternative. In Florida, a parent seeking a custody arrangement with their ex may choose to hire a family law attorney to help them create a fair plan that is in the best interests of the children. 

Source:, "Hello 2018: New Florida laws immediately go into effect in the new year", Felix Vega, Dec. 31, 2017

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