New Bill Changes 50/50 Timesharing Law

timesharing laws


On July 1st, 2023, a new Florida law – CS/SB 1416 – regarding family law orders was enacted. These sweeping changes affect alimony, child custody, paternity, modifications, and more. The critical thing to note is that no clause states that previous agreements are grandfathered in. However, when it comes to the changes to child custody and the new 50/50 timesharing laws, this won’t change existing agreements but will come up if you or your ex-spouse want to change them.

If you’re about to file for divorce or are currently in the middle of one, you need to be informed of the changes going on as these changes will apply to cases pending before the court. If you have children, this new child custody law will affect you and how your case will be strategized. If you’re unsure about what is changing, the attorneys at C. Alvarez Law can explain during a consultation.

How Did Child Custody/Timesharing Agreements Work Before?

Before the changes were made to this law, there were no assumptions made about physical child custody. The court would assume nothing and listen to the arguments both parents suggested or go with the one they both agreed upon based on the best interests of the child.

What Has Changed About Physical Custody?

For some context, when it comes to physical custody, the court assumes that 50/50 shared custody is what’s in the best interest of the child. It keeps both parents active in the decision-making process for the children they share. if the parents disagree (either with the court’s assumption and/or each other), they must rebutt the assumption of 50/50 and prove why.

How Will This Change Affect You?

Now, when you’re entering court to contest child custody, you are that much more likely to fight in court. There are many parents who agree that it’s best for their situation if one of them should be their children’s primary physical guardian. This can be due to many understandable reasons including: 

  • The work hours of both parents 
  • Potential help from other family members that only one would receive 
  • The living situation of both parents 

Now, even if you both agree that this is the case, you have to make that argument to a judge if the other parent doesn’t think these reasons are enough to not have an equal time sharing schedule.

This new law encourages parents to work together more and means that both parents are at least entering court with the expectation that they will be able to have 50/50 timesharing if that is in the best interest of the child.

How Did Child Custody Modifications Change?

Before the new changes in legislation, there needed to be an unanticipated, substantial and material change in the lives of either partner that warranted a modification to the child custody/timesharing agreement. This can be something like a change in employment, living arrangements, health, or anything else that will have a long-term effect on the ability of a parent to have custody over their children. 

A modification can be to change the visitation schedule, 50/50 timesharing agreement, and/or child support.

How Did Child Custody Modifications Change?

Now, there is no stipulation that the change has to be unanticipated. A parent moving closer to the child is also considered a substantial and material change. These two changes directly allow for a parent who plans to move closer to their child after some time away to change their custody agreement.

How Will This Affect You?

This means that if a parent has long-term plans, they do not have to work their long-term plans around the custody agreement. They can try to have it modified. Modifications have become a tool to make child custody/timesharing agreements work best for the family. 

While technically both parents can act as if things are different, putting the change in writing protects both parents.

Contact the Family Lawyers at C. Alvarez Law For More Information

If you believe that these new laws will affect your impending or previous child custody case, consider contacting our Florida family law firm for more information. During a consultation, we can break down what risks you now face, what opportunities you may have, and if there are any immediate effects these laws will have on your custody agreements.

Additionally, if you’re about to file for child custody and aren’t sure how to proceed through these new laws, our family law office can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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