Senate bill urges equal child custody time in divorce cases

- Florida courts would be urged to order 50-50 child custody time-sharing in divorce cases under a bill moving through the Florida Legislature.

The state Senate passed the bill Tuesday. It says courts should split time with children equally between divorcing parents unless it finds reasons not to. A House bill including the same provisions plus controversial alimony reforms still faces committee hearings before it can receive a vote on the House floor.

Brandon Republican Sen. Tom Lee said the bill would add consistency and predictability to child custody decisions, while still leaving courts discretion to deviate from 50-50 time sharing if it's in the best interest of the children. Opponents said courts should consider only the facts of individual cases without any prejudgment of the case.

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