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Crucial Things To Know About Timesharing in Florida (For 2024)


The concept of timesharing in Florida replaced the traditional terms of child custody and visitation some years back. Timesharing refers to the allocation of parenting time between divorced or separated parents. This term outlines when each parent will spend physical time with their child. For divorcing or separated parents, it is crucial to understand timesharing laws. In 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill (CS/HB 1301) that made significant changes to Florida timesharing laws. It is vital that, as a parent, you understand those changes. Below, we discuss some crucial things parents need to know about timesharing in Florida in 2024.

There Is a Rebuttable Presumption for Equal Timesharing in Florida

The first crucial thing you need to know about timesharing in Florida is that there is a rebuttable presumption that equal timesharing is the best arrangement after a divorce or separation. In other words, a court reviewing a timesharing case must presume that it is in the child’s best interest for the parents to have 50/50 timesharing. However, this does not mean that parents are guaranteed equal timesharing. This presumption simply ensures that parents enter legal proceedings on equal footing. Since the presumption that equal timesharing is in the best interest of the child at issue is a rebuttable one, Florida courts can deviate from this presumption if a party is able to prove that equal timesharing is not in the child’s best interests.

Overcoming the Presumption

To have the court rule in favor of unequal timesharing, a parent must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that a 50/50 timesharing arrangement is not in the best interest of their child. In other words, a parent must show that it is more likely than not that equal timesharing is not in the best interest of their child. For example, a parent who is able to prove that the other parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence may convince the court that equal timesharing is not in their child’s best interest.

The Focus Is Still on the Best Interests of the Child

While CS/HB 1301 made significant changes to Florida timesharing laws, one thing that remained the same is the requirement for Florida courts to make timesharing decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child at issue. Florida courts continue making timesharing decisions with a focus on promoting children’s safety, well-being, and emotional health.

Parental Relocation

In regards to parental relocation, it is crucial to note that Florida law now specifies that if a parent moves closer to their child, that may qualify as a substantial change in circumstances that warrants the modification of a timesharing schedule and parenting plan.

Removal of the Unanticipated Changes Requirement

Finally, you should know that CS/HB 1301 removed the need for a parent to prove that the substantial and material change in circumstances is also unanticipated when seeking a parenting plan modification. In other words, when pursuing a parenting plan modification, you only need to show that a change is substantial and material. You do not need to show that you didn’t anticipate the change.

Contact an Orlando Child Custody Lawyer

If you need help with a child custody or timesharing case, contact a skilled Orlando child custody lawyer at The Arwani Law Firm.

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At the Arwani Law Firm, our Orlando divorce lawyers will work together to get you the best possible outcome in your case, while treating you with the utmost respect and compassion. When you meet with us, you’ll see we love what we do, and you’ll feel that enthusiasm as we work through your legal matter.

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