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New year means new state laws for couples divorcing with children

Couples divorcing in Florida have a new state law to take into consideration as they proceed with their plan to dissolve a marriage. The goal of the 2018 family law mandates is to bring unified decision making based on the best interest of the child. The law will impact time-sharing (custody) agreements, as well as revising the payment process for child support. These changes come as a result of years of deliberation within the area of family law. The plan put forth expects to help legally separated or divorcing parents, manage the new changes ahead.

What is included in this new legislation?

Many states already have this aspect centralized into their family law legislation. However, Florida is instilling a strong emphasis on creating a workable “standard parenting time plan” for contested cases. This time plan will replace former court ordered parenting plans when parents failed to agree on a personalized schedule of their own.

Here is a brief overview of what is included in the new plan:

  • Alternating weekends will begin at 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • At least one evening per week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Holiday breaks will include summer, spring and winter breaks including Thanksgiving

Ideally, family courts would like to see more cooperation and compromise between both parents to create a schedule they can tailor to their unique lives. This helps alleviate the stress and demands of a cookie-cutter schedule that may conflict with various employment schedules and distance changes.

Child support change offers more convenience

Another change made includes a revised child support payment process. It is one that takes advantage of the convenience of online transactions. The website offers an e-pay option through the Department of Revenue in order to simplify the payment process. It also makes it easier to view history, notices and tax information for either parent.

With all these changes, remember to discuss any questions you have with a family law attorney who can help decide what is best moving forward. It can be a difficult time of transition for everyone, especially the children. Making it a priority to get your questions answered before final decisions are made can help greatly.

What other changes would you like to see in family law?

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