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Florida law requires safe spots at sheriffs' offices for child custody exchanges

The neutral meeting spots have to be accessible 24/7, monitored by continuous video and marked with signage.
Seminole County Sheriff's Office in Florida
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A new Florida law that went into effect Monday will require every sheriff’s office in the state’s 67 counties to establish at least one safe, neutral location for parents who share custody to exchange their children.

The bipartisan bill, Safe Exchange of Minor Children, will also mandate parents who share custody to have a court-approved parenting plan that outlines a list of “authorized locations” for handing off their children. The court may also require that parents meet at the safe exchange locations.

The neutral meeting spots have to be accessible 24/7, monitored by a continuous video that records an accurate date and time and can retain footage for at least 45 days and marked with signage or a purple light, according to the bill.

Under the new law, protective orders must include a checkbox that allows the applicant to request a safe exchange location.

The measure was named “Cassie Carli’s Law” in memory of a Florida mother who disappeared in 2022 following a custody exchange with her ex-boyfriend and child’s father. Her body was later found in Alabama, and her ex is facing charges in connection to her death and disappearance.

The safe exchange law is one of nearly 200 new laws going into effect in Florida on July 1.