A new bill about child custody is gaining momentum in Florida. It’s called the Cassie Carli Law, and it proposes that every county in the Sunshine State designate a safe location for parents to exchange their kids, which could be a police station parking lot. So, what does all this mean for parents in Connecticut? And where is the best place to pick up or drop off your children for custody? Learn more below.
What Is the Cassie Carli Law?
Cassie Carli disappeared on March 27, 2022, in Navarre, Florida, after meeting Marcus Spanevelo, her ex-boyfriend, in a restaurant parking lot. Spanevelo was supposed to exchange custody of their four-year-old daughter. A week later, Cassie’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Alabama. After extensive media attention, this case caught the eye of lawmakers, resulting in a new bill commonly known as the Cassie Carli Law.
This bill requires every county in Florida to designate a safe space for parents to hand off their kids, preventing something like the Cassie Carli case from happening again. Court-approved custody plans will include a list of authorized locations where parents should pick up and drop off their children unless both parents agree to alternative arrangements. If a child is at risk of harm, the court might stipulate that parents exchange their children in a police station parking lot.
The bill has already garnered support from both sides of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee in the Florida House of Representatives. It will now advance to a second hearing.
What Does This Mean for Parents in Connecticut?
It’s unclear whether the Cassie Carli Law will pass, and if it does, it won’t affect you here in Connecticut. However, this new bill poses some interesting questions about custody arrangements in general. For example, where is the best place to exchange kids? If parents live far away from each other, who should travel? What happens if parents don’t trust each other?
Firstly, you’ll want to choose an exchange location that won’t trigger your child, such as a nearby park or outside a library. Of course, that might not be ideal, especially if you have to travel a long distance. But it could be worse. Imagine if you lived in Florida and a judge decided you could only exchange your child in a police station parking lot. That could be distressing for everyone involved and make relations between you and your ex-partner even worse.
Compromise is the keyword here. Even if you don’t feel like traveling far to exchange your child, meeting your ex-partner at a location that’s convenient for both of you will make everyone’s life easier.
That’s not to say you have to admit defeat. Choosing a location like inside a grocery store or fast food restaurant can be beneficial if you want to change a custody agreement and build a case against your ex. That’s because these locations often have security cameras that will serve as evidence if your ex-partner is late for a pick-up or drop-off or doesn’t turn up at all.
How to Deal With Custody Exchanges
The best advice is to avoid court in almost every custody scenario. If you’ve recently broken up with your partner, you can arrange an agreement that includes visitation schedules and exchange locations with a divorce lawyer in CT. Lots of mitigation might be involved, especially if you’re not on speaking terms with your ex. However, this method is better than letting your case drag through the courts. A judge will still need to approve your arrangement, but this process is a lot easier than a full-blown court case.
If you already have a custody agreement approved by the court, you must try to communicate with your ex-partner about exchange locations, if only for the sake of your child. Disagreeing about a hand-over could lead to more disputes and, if things get nasty, you’ll likely end up in court again. Custody is complicated enough as it is without having to worry about exchanges!
How Can a Connecticut Family Law Attorney Help?
Working with an experienced attorney specializing in family law can help you negotiate a custody exchange in CT with your partner and avoid certain court actions. Often, one parent ends up with unfavorable custody terms because they don’t make themselves clear or just can’t communicate with their ex. Don’t let that happen. Working with a reputable law firm in Connecticut will ensure you get the best possible outcome for you and your child.
If the Cassie Carli Law passes in Florida, judges can decide where parents can exchange their kids for custody if they don’t agree to alternative arrangements. Unfortunately, that might mean a police station parking lot. That shows how important it is to communicate with your ex about exchange locations, as well as other aspects of custody. If you can’t negotiate with your old partner, a family law attorney can provide support.
Rich Rochlin has practiced family law for nearly 23 years and can help you understand Connecticut’s complicated child custody laws. Call (860) 357-9158 or click here to learn more about this divorce lawyer in CT.