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New Laws Affecting Florida Family Court Litigants Now in Effect

Determining how to share custody after a split can be a hotly-contested issue for unmarried parents. A law that has recently entered into effect in Florida will provide a custody-sharing schedule that parents can use in lieu of hashing out their own, which could expedite the process of reaching a mutually-agreeable custody arrangement for some families. Read on to learn more about the new law, and speak with a knowledgeable Florida paternity attorney with any additional questions about Florida custody-sharing arrangements.

New law provides optional parenting time schedule

Florida has been in the process of revamping its laws on time-sharing agreements (its new name for child custody agreements) in recent years. Last year, the Florida state government passed a bill providing for a so-called “standard parenting time plan.” When unmarried parents meet with the Florida Department of Revenue regarding child support payments, and those parents lack a parenting time plan of their own creation, the Department of Revenue can suggest a standard parenting time plan to the parents. If the parents don’t agree to the standard plan, or one parent isn’t abiding by the existing plan, the Department of Revenue can refer those parents to their local circuit court judge, who will establish a plan for them. Parents will not have to pay filing fees to come before the circuit court if referred by the Department of Revenue.

State now offers streamlined online payment system

In addition to the state’s new standard parenting time plan, the Florida Department of Revenue has also made it easier for parents to make electronic child support payments. Parents who owe child support may now visit the Florida Child Support Payment Resource Center to create an account and make child support payments online. Parents can use the site to have payments automatically debited each month from their checking account, or they can make payments with a credit card. Additionally, Florida employers may use the website to schedule one-time or automatic monthly withdrawals from a bank account on behalf of employees who have been ordered to have child support debited from their paychecks.

If you’re fighting to retain custody of your child in Florida and need help from a knowledgeable and skilled Clearwater family law attorney, contact the Clearwater offices of The Law Firm for Family Law for a consultation, at 727-531-8737.

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