There is a marked trend in child custody law toward a system under which shared custody is the starting point for all families who are going through a divorce. There are strong arguments on both sides of that matter, but many Florida parents believe that each and every child custody case should be heard on its own terms, and decided according to the particulars of that case alone. Meanwhile, yet another state is currently debating whether to create legislation that would force courts to begin each case from a position that shared custody is the best possible outcome.
The state is currently holding town halls to hear how the public views the matter. A proposed bill is supported by those who believe that family court judges should grant equal time and joint legal custody to both parents, unless there is evidence of domestic violence or other special circumstances. The state representative sponsoring the bill argues that the division of parenting time currently varies widely from one county to the next, and that such outcomes are unfair to parents.
Those who are against the bill point out that no two families are ever exactly alike, and that the courts should avoid anything that resembles a one-size-fits-all approach in terms of child custody. They feel that the central point of each case should remain the best interests of the child. Changing the law would shift that focus to the best interests of the parents, they argue.
As it stands, the bill has moved through Michigan’s House Judiciary Committee but has not yet been approved by the full House. As legislators continue to gather reactions and opinions from the community, the topic is garnering both local and national attention. For those Florida families who are concerned about how state law could shift in coming years, it is important to stay aware of legislative trends throughout the nation.
Source: woodtv.com, “Bill would revamp how child custody decided“, Evan Dean, Aug. 21, 2017