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2018 brings changes to custody laws in Florida

With the New Year come many changes. While that might look like individuals in Florida and elsewhere making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, use technology less and learn something new, when it comes to state legislation, it means changes to existing laws. Those seeking a divorce is 2018 may be impacted by these changes, especially if there are children involved.

When parents divorce, their focus is on the best interests of the children. Additionally, parents are also focused on the time they get to spend with their child. Thus, parenting plans can have a huge impact on all of their lives. According to reports, the Florida legislature, as well as the courts, have begun overhauling family law rules for time-sharing agreements over the past several years.

So what does this mean for 2018 and parents divorcing or separating? A new standard parenting plan will be made available to parents as a mechanism to establish set visitation times if they cannot devise their own schedule or the court orders a parenting plan. This standard plan covers visitation every other weekend, one evening visit per week and visits during holiday breaks, including Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer break.

The goal of these changes and the implementation of this plan is to shift the focus the best interests of the child based on the new laws and the current family law trends in the state and nation. Nonetheless, parents are still encouraged to develop plans that work for both of them, as well as the busy schedule of the children.

Child custody issues are often present in the divorce process. While disagreements and disputes could arise, this does not mean an agreement cannot be reached. Those seeking to establish, modify or enforce a custody order should understand the laws that govern the situation and what rights they have.

Source: Wfla.com, "Hello 2018: New Florida laws immediately go into effect in the new year," Felix Vega, Jan. 5, 2018

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