Section 61.13003

Court-ordered electronic communication between a parent and a child.—

(1)

(a)In connection with proceedings under this chapter, a court may order electronic communication between a parent and a child. Before ordering electronic communication, a court must consider:

1.Whether electronic communication is in a child’s best interests;

2.Whether communication equipment and technology to provide electronic communication is reasonably available, accessible, and affordable;

3.Each parent’s history of substance abuse or domestic violence; and

4.Any other factor that the court considers material.

(b)Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a rebuttable presumption is created providing that it is in the best interests of a child for a parent and child to have reasonable telephone communication. Unless this presumption is rebutted, the court shall order telephone communication.

(c)The court may set safeguards or guidelines for electronic communication.

(2)If the court finds that one or both parents will incur additional costs in order to implement electronic communication with the child, the court shall allocate such expenses arising solely from the electronic communication between the parents after considering the respective parent’s financial circumstances.

(3)If the court enters an order granting electronic communication, each parent shall furnish the other parent with the access information necessary to facilitate electronic communication. Each parent shall notify the other parent of any change in the access information within 7 days after the change.

(4)Electronic communication may be used only to supplement a parent’s face-to-face contact with his or her minor child. Electronic communication may not be used to replace or as a substitute for face-to-face contact.

(5)A party to a child custody order that does not prohibit electronic communication may move a court to order electronic communication. Such a party need not prove a substantial change in circumstances.

(6)The court may not consider the availability of electronic communication as the sole determinative factor when considering relocation.

(7)The extent or amount of time that electronic communication with the child is ordered under s. 61.13 may not be used as a factor when the court calculates child support.

(8)This section does not apply to any judgment or order issued before October 1, 2007.

For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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