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Florida Legislature Considering Custody & Alimony Bills
Florida Legislature Considering Custody & Alimony Bills

Men in Florida should take special note of a bill that is currently being considered by the Florida Senate. If the bill is passed into law, it would establish a legal presumption that both parents are entitled to equal time with their children post-divorce. The vote on SB 250 could take place in the next week or so.
How could this measure impact your divorce? In short, the court would begin your custody hearing with the assumption that 50/50 time-sharing is in the best interests of your child.
Tom Lee (R) sponsored the legislation. He has concerns regarding how court decisions are influenced by the prejudices or values of each particular judge. These personal biases, according to Lee, are resulting in disparate outcomes throughout Florida.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Lee was once “locked in a nearly two-year court dispute with his ex-wife to gain additional time with his children, as well as to lower his child-support payments”.
One of the concerns being expressed against the proposed legislation is that stepparents would be considered “nonrelatives” and under the bill they would not receive equal rights. Lee points out that while Florida does not have a legal definition of stepparents, judges may consider the relationship between a stepparent and the children in making a custody award.
A companion bill in the House (HB 553) has not yet had a hearing.
Additionally, SB 668 passed the Florida Senate with a 6-4 win. This bill proposes alimony reform that will require a court to consider certain factors when awarding spousal support. If passed into law, the judge will be required to make specific written findings of fact under certain circumstances prior to ruling on a request for alimony.
We mention SB 668 in this blog because its House bill is very different due to the removal of all time-sharing language that is still included in SB 668. As discussed above, SB250 is a stand-alone bill that only relates to equal time sharing of children after a divorce, the topic is still incorporated into SB 668. We will report back as the sister bills progress through the House.
If you are getting divorced and you are concerned with alimony and child custody issues, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.