Legislation offers an optional default visitation schedule for non-custodial parents
Senator Jeff Brandes today (R-St. Petersburg) filed SB 590, parenting time plans, introducing an optional default time plan to provide unmarried parents a standard visitation schedule. If adopted, this plan would encourage contact between non-custodial parents and their children.
“Spending time with our children is the most valuable gift parents can give,” stated Senator Brandes. “The state currently requires child support be paid but is silent on time. This bill seeks to offer parents an optional time sharing plan, used in many other states, that puts the focus on parents spending time with their children.”
This time plan is provided as an option when the parents meet with the Department of Revenue to set up child support. It will allow parents to bypass the court system and its associated fees. Parents may accept the plan as stated, deviate and agree upon a different plan, or they may be transferred to the courts system for further mediation. SB 590 provides exceptions to the plan when the child is under 3 years of age, when the parents live more than 100 miles away, and when there are domestic or family violence concerns. SB 590 would encourage the development of a close and continuing relationship between both the custodial and non-custodial parents and the child. The bill does not affect any child support arrangements; it seeks only to simplify the visitation schedule in order to benefit the child.