Legislation making its way through the House would prevent parents registered as a sex offender or predator from being granted time-sharing with their child.

The legislation is sponsored by Daytona Beach Republican Representative Thomas Leek.“I believe that if you are a convicted sexual predator or a sexual offender of a minor while you are an adult the presumption should be that you are not entitled to custody. Unless the court makes a specific finding that the child would be safe in your custodial care.”

The bill passed its first stop unanimously. Its Senate companion has yet to be heard. [SOURCE]

Member Submission:

The onus should be on the state to determine dangerousness, not on the registrant to prove they are not dangerous.

The registry specifically says no assessment of dangerousness has been made.

It is a fundamental right to be a parent. A Fundamental right may only be limited in circumstances where the government’s interest in a specific matter of public importance outweighs the individual’s fundamental right, and where the limitation on the fundamental right is as narrow as possible for achievement of an important governmental goal.
Since no assessment is given, it is not narrowly tailored.

the law says the court must make a specific finding in writing that the individual poses no significant risk of harm. It should be the other way, the court should have to find that the individual poses a risk of harm to remove the right to be a parent. That would be more narrowly tailored.

61.13 Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; powers of court.? (2) (c) The court shall determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change of circumstances. 1. It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is hb0141-00 HB 141 dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child. 2. The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Evidence that a parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28 and chapter 775, or meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d), creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child. If the presumption is not rebutted after the convicted parent is advised by the court that the presumption exists, shared parental responsibility, including time-sharing with the child, and decisions made regarding the child, may not be granted to the convicted parent. However, the convicted parent is not relieved of any obligation to provide financial support. If the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental responsibility and make such arrangements for time-sharing as specified in the parenting plan as will best protect the child or abused spouse from further harm. Whether or not there is a conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or the existence of an injunction for protection hb0141-00 HB 141 against domestic violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child. a. In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child’s welfare or may divide those responsibilities between the parties based on the best interests of the child. Areas of responsibility may include education, health care, and any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a particular family. b. The court shall order sole parental responsibility for a minor child to one parent, with or without time-sharing with the other parent if it is in the best interests of the minor child. 3.a. The court may not grant a parent time-sharing with a minor child if the parent is required to register as a sexual offender under s. 943.0435 or a sexual predator under s. 775.21 and at the time of the offense for which the parent had to register: (I) The registrant was 18 years of age or older. (II) The victim was under 18 years of age or the registrant believed the victim to be under 18 years of age. b. Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph a., the court may grant time-sharing to the registrant if the court makes a hb0141-00 HB 141 specific finding in writing that the registrant poses no significant risk of harm to the child and that time-sharing is in the best interest of the child. 4.3. Access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and school records, may not be denied to either parent. Full rights under this subparagraph apply to either parent unless a court order specifically revokes these rights, including any restrictions on these rights as provided in a domestic violence injunction. A parent having rights under this subparagraph has the same rights upon request as to form, substance, and manner of access as are available to the other parent of a child, including, without limitation, the right to in-person communication with medical, dental, and education providers.


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