Navigating Change Together: Florida’s HB 1301 Empowers Parents in Divorce

Divorce is undoubtedly one of life’s most challenging transitions, and when children are involved, the feelings can be overwhelming. In a landmark move, the Florida legislature passed HB 1301, the Parenting and Time-sharing of Minor Children Act, which went into effect on July 1st. 

Presumption of Equal Time-sharing

At the heart of this legislation is the rebuttable presumption that equal time-sharing is inherently in the best interests of the child. This means that unless there is some strong evidence to the contrary, courts will presume that splitting time equally between parents provides the most stable and nurturing environment for a child’s growth. The statute lists very specific factors that the court must consider when this presumption is challenged. 

When it comes to whether or not you, as a parent, feel like it’s the best option for your child, there’s a lot to consider. Challenging the presumption that equal time sharing between parents will require strong collaboration between you and your attorney. The law is designed to encourage parents to focus on their child’s unique needs, rather than interpersonal battles. If you have reason to believe your child would be better off having more time with you than your ex, then you and your attorney will have to work hard to back up those claims with evidence. 

Changes to Modifications

HB 1301 has also changed the standard for modifications to existing parenting plans. Prior to HB 1301, parents had a difficult time modifying their existing parenting plan. Changing a parenting plan required providing evidence of a material, substantial, and unexpected change in circumstances. The recent changes acknowledge that life can bring changes that aren’t always extreme, but they can still impact a child’s upbringing. Now, the standard is substantial and material change in circumstances, removing the requirement of “unexpected.”

Although it’s still advisable to make a parenting plan that works throughout a child’s life, the recent law takes off some of the pressure of needing everything to be perfect. Parents can make dynamic parenting plans that are designed for a child’s changing needs, but they don’t need a crystal ball to account for all the obstacles life could potentially throw at them.

Empowering Transitions

Although these changes can have a major impact on your ongoing or future case, you still have the power to shape your child’s future. Empowerment starts with understanding and working closely with your attorney who can use their family law experience to come up with a strategy that works in the best interests of your child and even for you.

HB 1301 is more than legislation; it’s a call to action. Lawmakers expect parents to embrace the opportunity to be an active participant in their child’s well-being and future and work together. Even if your relationship is especially rocky, the team at Heather Bryan Law, P.A. is ready to stand by you and your family. Call our office at (863) 825-5309 today to schedule your consultation.

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Heather Bryan Law, P.A.

Our firm has experience defending Floridians against all sorts of criminal charges. Additionally, we are well-equipped to handle emotionally charged family law matters and devastating personal injury cases.

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