Controversial pending legislation could impact custody arrangements for some parents in Florida. SB 254 proposes limiting custody for parents who seek gender-affirming care for minor children.
How may this legislation impact parents in the state?
If it becomes law, SB 254 will make gender-affirming treatments, such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers for minor children, illegal in Florida. The bill would also give courts the power to modify, enter or stay a child custody determination if a parent is seeking gender-affirming care for a minor child. Supporters of the bill claim the change is necessary to protect children from potentially life-altering medical treatments. Opponents say the legislation violates parental rights.
Potential impacts on custody
If the bill becomes law, a parent who does not support gender-affirming care could request a larger portion of the timesharing for that child. However, courts would still need to consider the best interests of the child.
Options for parents who do not agree on medical decisions
Disagreements over medical decisions are often particularly contentious when divorced parents share custody of a child. When parents who share legal custody cannot agree, they may need to seek relief through the court system. In these cases, the courts review what is in the best interest of the child and may choose to revise the custody arrangement to give one parent sole legal custody.
Parents having difficulty agreeing on medical decisions for their children may need to pursue legal options if they can not reach an agreement through other methods, such as family counseling or mediation.