What is shared parenting, and is it the law in Florida?

As a parent, you probably want to make sure that you get to see your child as often as possible after divorce. In many states, it's assumed that parents should share custody, but that's not exactly the case in Florida.

Is shared parenting the law in Florida?

A new Florida law to propose and enact shared parenting time was proposed recently, but the governor decided to veto it. According to the law, permanent alimony would have been ended and shared parenting strategies would have been determined in court. The goal would be to give children as much time with both parents as possible; in many cases, the time would be split as close to equal as it could be.

In the past, it was not uncommon to see women get child custody and for fathers to have visitation only on weekends or holidays. That was particularly common because of the belief that mothers were best suited to caring for their children. That isn't always the way people think today, but the laws in Florida still don't protect fathers by making child custody arrangements based on equal or close-to-equal custody guidelines.

Is shared parenting better for children?

Some would say so, and around 70 percent of the public does support shared parenting overall. Despite the fact that it has a heavy backing, the way the laws work in Florida don't support shared parenting and encourage the courts to break up child custody in whatever way is best suited in the situation, even if that limits a child's time with one parent.

Source: The Federalist, "Florida Gov. Rick Scott Ignores Families, Protects Disastrous Divorce Law," Leslie Loftis, accessed May 18, 2016

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