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Florida Senate approves proposed child custody reform law

The Florida Senate has passed a new bill that will alter the state's child custody rules if it is signed into law. The new piece of legislation would make Florida one of the leaders in a national effort to award equal child custody to parents who are divorcing. However, it could still be time before this piece of legislation is approved.

The bill, SB 250, passed the Florida Senate with a 23-15 vote. However, political commentators suspect that the Florida House will stop the measure. In the House, political leaders are trying to get another piece of legislation passed, which is a bill to reform the state's alimony laws. Apparently the House is not interested in moving forward with child custody reform measures at this time.

According to the Florida House Rules Chairman, state lawmakers in the House are focusing their efforts on alimony reform at the moment and they are not considering other reform measures, which could weigh down their promise of reforming alimony laws. One Florida senator says that the House has rejected the idea of approving child custody laws and he said that they might not be interested in such reforms this year.

The proposed child sharing measure, if passed, would offer more predictability in family law cases involving child custody and divorce. A 50-50 presumption offered by the bill, would allow parents the ability to expect to receive half custody of the children in most cases. Furthermore, both parents would be viewed equally by the court in terms of their rights to receive shared child custody — regardless of the gender of the parent.

Florida parents who are concerned about child custody in their divorce proceedings may wish to speak with a family law lawyer to determine where they would stand in a child custody battle in court. An experienced family law lawyer will be able to provide an idea with regard to a parent's custody rights given the unique circumstances of the parent's case.

Source: HT Politics, "Florida Senate OKs equal custody bill," Lloyd Dunkelberger, Feb. 23, 2016

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