2003 Florida Divorce Reform Possibilities


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[UPDATE -- NO LEGISLATION ON THESE SUBJECTS WAS ACTUALLY INTRODUCED AND THE FILING DEADLINES FOR THE 2003 SESSION IS NOW PAST.]

Florida legislators are considering introducing some or all of the following, according to "Conservatives seek divorce changes" by Mark Hollis, Orlando Sentinel December 15, 2002:

"- A "cooling-off"' or waiting period -- ranging from six months to a year --
after a filing for divorce.

"- Barring divorces involving families with children unless there is "mutual
consent," meaning that both parents would have to seek a divorce.

"- Requiring couples before they wed to define the precise circumstances in
which they would agree to a divorce.

"- Mandating more pre-marital and pre-divorce counseling

As of 3/10/03 we have found only the following. It does not appear to be connected to pro-marriage initiatives or to divorce reform at this point.

Full bill text is at http://www.flsenate.gov/cgi-bin/view_page.pl?Tab=session&Submenu=1&FT=D&File=sb1574.html&Directory=session/2003/Senate/bills/billtext/html/

Senate 1574: Relating to Family Court Reform


S1574    GENERAL BILL by Lynn (Linked
S 1570)
Family Court Reform; creates Commission on Family Law & Children to
develop family code; provides for membership & staffing commission &
repeal of commission; authorizes Supreme Court to create system to
identify cases re individuals & families within court system; provides
for modifying court order in subsequent civil proceeding; provides for
limited admissibility of evidence in subsequent civil proceedings, etc.
Amends Chs. 25, 39, 44, 61, 741, 753, 943.
SENATE SUMMARY

3 Revises various laws governing the family court system.
Creates the Commission on Family Law and Children.
4 Provides for a continuum of alternative dispute options
to the judicial process. Provides for the confidentiality
5 of certain disclosures in presuit and voluntary
mediations. Increases the service charge for filing a
6 petition to modify a dissolution of marriage. Provides
that the proceeds of the service charge be used for
7 specified mediation services. Authorizes the
establishment of presuit mediation pilot programs for
8 modifying or enforcing judgments relating to family
matters. Imposes an earlier deadline for parents to
9 complete parent education courses in
dissolution-of-marriage proceedings. Repeals provisions
10 relating to the Florida Family Visitation Network.
Provides for the establishment of a statewide
11 certification and monitoring system to improve the
quality and safety of supervised visitation and exchange
12 programs. Provides incentives for law enforcement
officers to secure educational credits and to volunteer
13 in these types of programs. Provides legislative intent
for coordination between the court and social service
14 agencies. Provides for collaboration in developing a
system that ensures access to services for children and
15 families in the court system. Requests the Supreme Court
to provide guidance. Provides for an interagency
16 workgroup. (See bill for details.)


EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2003.
02/21/03 SENATE Prefiled
03/04/03 SENATE Introduced, referred to Judiciary; Governmental Oversight and
                  Productivity; Finance and Taxation; Appropriations
                  Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and Judiciary;
                  Appropriations -SJ 00083



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Originally posted and maintained by Americans for Divorce Reform; now maintained by John Crouch. You can call me at (703) 528-6700 or e-mail me through my law office's web site.