New laws take effect in Florida - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

New laws take effect in Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Among the new laws ringing in the new year, one of them expands protection for children at risk of being abducted by a parent.

The issue is on everyone's mind after a number of recent cases, including one in Boynton Beach, where police say a 3- month old girl was taken from her mother's arms.

Investigators tell Fox29 the attempted abductor was the baby's father.  "We all see these heartbreaking stories of children taken by a parent and raised in another country of another state, their identities are changed, and you have another parent who losses that child," said Fox29 Legal Analyst Michelle Suskauer.

The new law gives judges stronger tools to prevent this from happening.

"The court can really build in safeguards to try to prevent that from happening, and one of the ways it can do that is to actually require that the child's passport be surrendered," said Suskauer.

A second law recalculates the amount of alimony and support payments former spouses must pay.

"Parents have an obligation to support their children financially, and that is really important, you can't contract that away and we see that a lot in court," said Suskauer.

The new formulas raise the minimum amount a parent must pay if that person is behind.

"They are really trying to clarify and do away with the gray areas here, certainly there are more specifics as far as child support and time sharing, that if viewers are going through right now, they need to be reviewed because there are substantial changes that have happened as of January 1st," said Suskauer.

To learn more about how these laws affect you, visit

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