Another dangerously flawed family law reform bill has been once again submitted in the Florida Legislature. As this flawed legislation persists, Republican Sen. Tom Lee, who has been embroiled in his own past divorce and child support battles, has now introduced Senate Bill 250. Many marginalized members of the Florida Bar are saying enough is enough — it’s time for Florida Gov. Rick Scott to do the right thing and form a neutral “Family Law Reform Task Force” to carefully study this issue and recommend fair and equitable changes to our family law statutes that, if necessary, do not unjustly harm women and children.
The proposed Alimony/Family Law Reform bill contains as one of its greatest flaws an equal child timesharing provision, which creates a legal presumption that equal time splitting between parents occur. This legal presumption can only be overcome if the parent challenging the presumption enters into a legal fight and proves, with evidence, that it is not in the best interests of the child to have equal time with both parents.
There is no exception in the proposed statute regarding the age, physical or mental health of the child, or the physical or mental health of the parents. This will mean that unless a parent challenges the law, infants and toddlers would be exchanged between households on a nearly 50/50 basis. Alcoholic or abusive parents will be presumed to be entitled to 50/50 split timesharing with their children as well, including overnights.