Fla. Law Changes Terms to Make Divorce Less Toxic

Change removes contentious terms from books
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2008 7:18 AM CDT
When people today talk about getting custody of children, they don't say they prefer custody, an expert noted. "They say they're fighting for custody."   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – Divorcing parents won't be making deals on "custody" and "visitation" in Florida in the future; a new law scrubs the terms from its legal code in a bid to reduce acrimony and give kids a better shot at continuing relationships with both parents. Starting next month, custody will be renamed “shared-parental responsibility,” and visitation becomes “time-sharing.”

The new law is aimed at combating the tendency to treat a child as "a piece of property,” says one divorce attorney. A family law attorney says the change is overdue: “Custody and visitation are destructive words and destructive concepts. Unless there's a reason for a restriction, it takes two to raise a child.”