By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Child Support on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

Parents agree to share their children all the time, which is to be encouraged. In 2011, child support deviations based on verbal agreements were prohibited. My new article investigates how and why. Here is an abstract:

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Florida policy is to see that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after they divorce or separate and that parents share in childrearing.

Child Support Guidelines historically frustrated this policy and, in fact, discouraged time-sharing. For example, they previously did not allow a child support adjustment unless a parent spent at least 40 percent of the overnights with his or her children.

In Dept. of Rev. ex rel. Sherman v. Daly, 74 So. 3d 165 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011), the Department of Revenue appealed a child support order because it contained a child support deviation for a verbal time-sharing schedule.

In Daly, both parents testified they shared a roughly 60/40 time-sharing schedule. However, they never put their agreement into writing. The First District Court of Appeal held Florida law prohibited the deviation.

After the 2011 Daly decision, a number of parents had their time-sharing deviations taken because they lacked court-ordered parenting plans.

During the recent 2014 regular legislative session, H.B. 75543 was passed and amended §61.30. The new bill revises the circumstances in which a court may deviate from the child support guidelines and adjust child support.

The bill became effective on May 12, 2014, and applies to all actions pending on May 2014 and thereafter.

As amended, §61.30 now expressly allows a court to deviate from the child support guidelines based on time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of parents.

The article is available here.

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