Florida Senate - 2023 SB 1292 By Senator Jones 34-01428-23 20231292__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to parenting plans; amending s. 61.13, 3 F.S.; creating a presumption that equal time-sharing 4 is in the best interests of the child, with 5 exceptions; creating a presumption for purposes of 6 modifying a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule 7 regarding relocation of a parent; providing an 8 effective date. 9 10 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and subsection 13 (3) of section 61.13, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 14 61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; 15 powers of court.— 16 (2) 17 (c) The court shall determine all matters relating to 18 parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in 19 accordance with the best interests of the child and in 20 accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and 21 Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan 22 and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, 23 material, and unanticipated change of circumstances. 24 1. It is the public policy of this state that each minor 25 child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents 26 after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is 27 dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and 28 responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. Unless otherwise 29 provided in this section or agreed to by the parties, there is a 30 presumption that equal time-sharing of a minor child is in the 31 best interests of the minor child who is common to the parties 32
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, there is no33 presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or34 for or against any specific time-sharing schedulewhen creating 35 or modifying the parenting plan of the child. 36 2. The court shall order that the parental responsibility 37 for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court 38 finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental 39 to the child. The following evidence creates a rebuttable 40 presumption of detriment to the child: 41 a. A parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the 42 first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined 43 in s. 741.28 and chapter 775; 44 b. A parent meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d); or 45 c. A parent has been convicted of or had adjudication 46 withheld for an offense enumerated in s. 943.0435(1)(h)1.a., and 47 at the time of the offense: 48 (I) The parent was 18 years of age or older. 49 (II) The victim was under 18 years of age or the parent 50 believed the victim to be under 18 years of age. 51 52 If the presumption is not rebutted after the convicted parent is 53 advised by the court that the presumption exists, shared 54 parental responsibility, including time-sharing with the child, 55 and decisions made regarding the child, may not be granted to 56 the convicted parent. However, the convicted parent is not 57 relieved of any obligation to provide financial support. If the 58 court determines that shared parental responsibility would be 59 detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental 60 responsibility and make such arrangements for time-sharing as 61 specified in the parenting plan as will best protect the child 62 or abused spouse from further harm. Whether or not there is a 63 conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or 64 the existence of an injunction for protection against domestic 65 violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence 66 or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child. 67 3. In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court 68 may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant 69 to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects 70 of the child’s welfare or may divide those responsibilities 71 between the parties based on the best interests of the child. 72 Areas of responsibility may include education, health care, and 73 any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a 74 particular family. 75 4. The court shall order sole parental responsibility for a 76 minor child to one parent, with or without time-sharing with the 77 other parent if it is in the best interests of the minor child. 78 5. There is a rebuttable presumption against granting time 79 sharing with a minor child if a parent has been convicted of or 80 had adjudication withheld for an offense enumerated in s. 81 943.0435(1)(h)1.a., and at the time of the offense: 82 a. The parent was 18 years of age or older. 83 b. The victim was under 18 years of age or the parent 84 believed the victim to be under 18 years of age. 85 86 A parent may rebut the presumption upon a specific finding in 87 writing by the court that the parent poses no significant risk 88 of harm to the child and that time-sharing is in the best 89 interests of the minor child. If the presumption is rebutted, 90 the court shall consider all time-sharing factors in subsection 91 (3) when developing a time-sharing schedule. 92 6. Access to records and information pertaining to a minor 93 child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and 94 school records, may not be denied to either parent. Full rights 95 under this subparagraph apply to either parent unless a court 96 order specifically revokes these rights, including any 97 restrictions on these rights as provided in a domestic violence 98 injunction. A parent having rights under this subparagraph has 99 the same rights upon request as to form, substance, and manner 100 of access as are available to the other parent of a child, 101 including, without limitation, the right to in-person 102 communication with medical, dental, and education providers. 103 (3) For purposes of establishing or modifying parental 104 responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying 105 a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which 106 governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child 107 and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or 108 her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the 109 primary consideration. A determination of parental 110 responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may 111 not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, 112 and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination 113 that the modification is in the best interests of the child. For 114 purposes of modifying a parenting plan and time-sharing 115 schedule, a parent’s permanent relocation from a residence more 116 than 50 miles from the primary residence of the child to a 117 residence within 50 miles of the primary residence of the child 118 is presumed to be a substantial, material, and unanticipated 119 change in circumstances. Determination of the best interests of 120 the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors 121 affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor 122 child and the circumstances of that family, including, but not 123 limited to: 124 (a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 125 parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing 126 parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, 127 and to be reasonable when changes are required. 128 (b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities 129 after the litigation, including the extent to which parental 130 responsibilities will be delegated to third parties. 131 (c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 132 parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the 133 child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent. 134 (d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, 135 satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining 136 continuity. 137 (e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with 138 special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and 139 the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the 140 parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or 141 against relocation of either parent with a child. 142 (f) The moral fitness of the parents. 143 (g) The mental and physical health of the parents. 144 (h) The home, school, and community record of the child. 145 (i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court 146 deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, 147 and experience to express a preference. 148 (j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition 149 of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor 150 child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, 151 teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite 152 things. 153 (k) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 154 parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as 155 discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and 156 bedtime. 157 (l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate 158 with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities 159 regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to 160 adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the 161 child. 162 (m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child 163 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of 164 whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has 165 been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending 166 actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child 167 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must 168 specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was 169 considered when evaluating the best interests of the child. 170 (n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided 171 false information to the court regarding any prior or pending 172 action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child 173 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect. 174 (o) The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by 175 each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before 176 the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, 177 including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were 178 undertaken by third parties. 179 (p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 180 parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and 181 extracurricular activities. 182 (q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 183 parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free 184 from substance abuse. 185 (r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect 186 the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not 187 discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents 188 or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, 189 and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent 190 to the child. 191 (s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the 192 demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the 193 child’s developmental needs. 194 (t) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination 195 of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing 196 schedule. 197 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.