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Custody battles could forever change with co-parenting bills

Lawmakers in more than 20 states across the country will consider bills this year that would either make it legally required to share parenting after divorce or encourage this parenting option. These bills, if passed into law, would require parents to co-parent even if they disagreed with the situation.

The legislature in Florida passed a bill in 2016 that would require equal time when creating parenting plans for child custody. This bill was eventually vetoed by the governor. Florida, like many other states, have moved towards creating these bills due to fathers feeling left out of parenting plans for decades.

Those who are against these bills argue that controlling former spouses will have too much access to the children and their former spouse. They also argue that the decision is taken out of the hands of family law judges, who are tasked with ruling in the best interest of the child in the case.

Opponents to these shared parenting bills also claim that they would only apply to couples who are divorcing and cannot come to an agreement on how to handle the custody arrangements, which applies to roughly 10 percent of divorcing couples.

Creators of these bills argue that if written into law the old notion of winner takes all in a divorce would soon disappear since both parents will still be able to parent their children.

Are you headed for divorce in Fort Lauderdale? It's best that you speak with an experienced family law attorney about your situation so you know how to protect your rights. You will also be able to ask questions about shared parenting plans in the state.

Source: Observer-Dispatch, "Shared-parenting bills could reshape custody battles," Dec. 31, 2017

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