There was a sweeping over-haul of child custody
and parental responsibility law in Florida in 2008. The new law
went into effect October 1, 2008. There is no new major over-haul pending, and if you saw a 2009 date somewhere, it was either a typographical error, or a mistake.
The statute has done away with the terms "custody," "visitation
'" "primary parent" and "secondary parent." The new terms are "shared parental responsibility" and "time-sharing." The statute makes it more likely that a joint custody
type of arrangement will occur, where parents have 50/50 or 60/40 time with their children. Indeed, the statute mandates that the court order shared parenting
(as opposed to sole parental responsibility) unless the court makes a finding that shared parenting would be detrimental to the child.
The statute also changes the way child support
will be awarded. In cases where children spend at least 40% of their time with one parent, child support will be reduced. In such cases, where parents have similar earnings, child support may be greatly reduced or even eliminated.
The law has requirements that detailed parenting plans
be in place. Such parenting plans should spell out children's issues in their daily lives, communication between the parents and the children, and other activities concerning the children.
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Gloria M Please be aware that my answer is not legal advice, it is merely informational and educational.
Fees I receive for answering questions are paid for information, not legal advice. This forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of knowledge. You and I have not entered into an attorney/client relationship, and I am not responsible for your legal rights. You should consult with legal counsel in your area for specific information relevant to your situation.