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Senate bill could bring changes to custody in Florida

Senate Bill 250 has made it through one Senate committee, but it is getting mixed reviews from parents who have been through custody issues. The bill would create a default shared custody arrangement in the state of Florida, meaning that 50-50 custody agreements would be automatically deemed in the best interests of the children unless proven otherwise.

Fathers, who have long been much more likely to be the noncustodial parent with more limited visitation, may see this as a step in the right direction. However, some people believe that if the bill were made into law it would fail to take into account the many unique situations that can come through the family courts, including very young children who are still breastfeeding and children with special needs.

However, proponents of the bill have been quick to point out that the bill does not take away the family court's options. Judges will still be able to take into consideration any extenuating circumstances, and both parties will still be able to make their cases if they feel that a sole custody arrangement would be more in the best interests of the children.

Whether or not the bill is passed into law, it's important to understand how nuanced child custody situations can be. What many people believe will be a quick matter very often dissolves into months-long legal proceedings. This can be true even for those who are in agreement about the custody arrangement or divorce settlement in the beginning. It's not uncommon for people's perspectives and wishes to change as they go through the divorce, and if this happens, a Miami family law attorney can help you make adjustments to your strategy.

Source: The St. Augustine Record, "Lawmakers consider controversial alimony, child custody changes," William March, Feb. 07, 2016

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