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