Florida Senate - 2023 CS for SB 1292 By the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs; and Senator Jones 586-03092-23 20231292c1 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; establishing the 8 manner in which to rebut such presumption; providing 9 an effective date. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 13 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) and subsection 14 (3) of section 61.13, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 15 61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; 16 powers of court.— 17 (2) 18 (c) The court shall determine all matters relating to 19 parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in 20 accordance with the best interests of the child and in 21 accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and 22 Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan 23 and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, 24 material, and unanticipated change of circumstances. 25 1. It is the public policy of this state that each minor 26 child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents 27 after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is 28 dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and 29 responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. Unless otherwise 30 provided in this section or agreed to by the parties, there is a 31 presumption that equal time-sharing of a minor child is in the 32 best interests of the minor child who is common to the parties 33
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, there is no34 presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or35 for or against any specific time-sharing schedulewhen creating 36 or modifying the parenting plan of the child. To rebut this 37 presumption, the party in opposition to equal time-sharing must 38 prove by competent and substantial evidence that equal time 39 sharing is not in the best interests of the minor child who is 40 common to the parties. 41 2. The court shall order that the parental responsibility 42 for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court 43 finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental 44 to the child. The following evidence creates a rebuttable 45 presumption of detriment to the child: 46 a. A parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the 47 first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined 48 in s. 741.28 and chapter 775; 49 b. A parent meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d); or 50 c. A parent has been convicted of or had adjudication 51 withheld for an offense enumerated in s. 943.0435(1)(h)1.a., and 52 at the time of the offense: 53 (I) The parent was 18 years of age or older. 54 (II) The victim was under 18 years of age or the parent 55 believed the victim to be under 18 years of age. 56 57 If the presumption is not rebutted after the convicted parent is 58 advised by the court that the presumption exists, shared 59 parental responsibility, including time-sharing with the child, 60 and decisions made regarding the child, may not be granted to 61 the convicted parent. However, the convicted parent is not 62 relieved of any obligation to provide financial support. If the 63 court determines that shared parental responsibility would be 64 detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental 65 responsibility and make such arrangements for time-sharing as 66 specified in the parenting plan as will best protect the child 67 or abused spouse from further harm. Whether or not there is a 68 conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or 69 the existence of an injunction for protection against domestic 70 violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence 71 or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child. 72 3. In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court 73 may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant 74 to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects 75 of the child’s welfare or may divide those responsibilities 76 between the parties based on the best interests of the child. 77 Areas of responsibility may include education, health care, and 78 any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a 79 particular family. 80 4. The court shall order sole parental responsibility for a 81 minor child to one parent, with or without time-sharing with the 82 other parent if it is in the best interests of the minor child. 83 5. There is a rebuttable presumption against granting time 84 sharing with a minor child if a parent has been convicted of or 85 had adjudication withheld for an offense enumerated in s. 86 943.0435(1)(h)1.a., and at the time of the offense: 87 a. The parent was 18 years of age or older. 88 b. The victim was under 18 years of age or the parent 89 believed the victim to be under 18 years of age. 90 91 A parent may rebut the presumption upon a specific finding in 92 writing by the court that the parent poses no significant risk 93 of harm to the child and that time-sharing is in the best 94 interests of the minor child. If the presumption is rebutted, 95 the court shall consider all time-sharing factors in subsection 96 (3) when developing a time-sharing schedule. 97 6. Access to records and information pertaining to a minor 98 child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and 99 school records, may not be denied to either parent. Full rights 100 under this subparagraph apply to either parent unless a court 101 order specifically revokes these rights, including any 102 restrictions on these rights as provided in a domestic violence 103 injunction. A parent having rights under this subparagraph has 104 the same rights upon request as to form, substance, and manner 105 of access as are available to the other parent of a child, 106 including, without limitation, the right to in-person 107 communication with medical, dental, and education providers. 108 (3) For purposes of establishing or modifying parental 109 responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying 110 a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which 111 governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child 112 and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or 113 her minor child, the best interests interestof the child shall 114 be the primary consideration. A determination of parental 115 responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may 116 not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, 117 and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination 118 that the modification is in the best interests of the child. For 119 purposes of modifying a parenting plan and time-sharing 120 schedule, a parent’s permanent relocation from a residence more 121 than 50 miles from the primary residence of the child to a 122 residence within 50 miles of the primary residence of the child 123 is presumed to be a substantial, material, and unanticipated 124 change in circumstances. Determination of the best interests of 125 the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors 126 affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor 127 child and the circumstances of that family, including, but not 128 limited to: 129 (a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 130 parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing 131 parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, 132 and to be reasonable when changes are required. 133 (b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities 134 after the litigation, including the extent to which parental 135 responsibilities will be delegated to third parties. 136 (c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 137 parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the 138 child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent. 139 (d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, 140 satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining 141 continuity. 142 (e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with 143 special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and 144 the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the 145 parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or 146 against relocation of either parent with a child. 147 (f) The moral fitness of the parents. 148 (g) The mental and physical health of the parents. 149 (h) The home, school, and community record of the child. 150 (i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court 151 deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, 152 and experience to express a preference. 153 (j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition 154 of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor 155 child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, 156 teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite 157 things. 158 (k) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 159 parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as 160 discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and 161 bedtime. 162 (l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate 163 with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities 164 regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to 165 adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the 166 child. 167 (m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child 168 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of 169 whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has 170 been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending 171 actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child 172 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must 173 specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was 174 considered when evaluating the best interests of the child. 175 (n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided 176 false information to the court regarding any prior or pending 177 action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child 178 abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect. 179 (o) The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by 180 each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before 181 the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, 182 including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were 183 undertaken by third parties. 184 (p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 185 parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and 186 extracurricular activities. 187 (q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each 188 parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free 189 from substance abuse. 190 (r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect 191 the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not 192 discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents 193 or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, 194 and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent 195 to the child. 196 (s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the 197 demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the 198 child’s developmental needs. 199 (t) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination 200 of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing 201 schedule. 202 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2023.