This article discusses how to modify child custody orders in Florida. In Florida, a family law judge must sign off on a timesharing modification. Absent an agreement, in order to modify child custody or timesharing, the parent requesting the change must prove a substantial change of circumstances since the signing of the last order on timesharing. The court will take into consideration whether the modification will be in the best interests of the child.
Florida law does not permit a change in timesharing arrangements simply because one parent is displeased with the timesharing arrangement. There is a presumption in favor of the reasonableness of the original parenting plan and timesharing order. If a modification of custody or timesharing is uncontested, meaning that both parents agree to a change, the parties may, on their own or through a lawyer, draft a new parenting plan with timesharing, and request approval of the court.
However, if either of the parents do not agree, and a substantial and unforeseen change of circumstances has occurred since the court signed the previous order, the parent seeking the change must file a petition for modification and serve the other parent. Examples of changes in circumstances include, injuries of the parties or child, relocation, contempt and ongoing violations of shared parental responsibility, among others. There is no set list. Improved life circumstances or a job promotion alone do not constitute changes of circumstances to permit a modification of timesharing arrangements. For Florida judges to consider a modification of a custody or timesharing decree, the parent requesting the modification must prove the modification is in the child’s best interest.
Although it is advisable to hire an attorney to represent you in modification proceedings in Florida, a petition for modification may be found here: Supplemental Petition to Modify Parental Responsibility, Visitation, or Parenting Plan/Time-sharing Schedule and Other Relief.
If you are seeking a modification to your divorce and to your current timesharing agreement, hire an experienced family law attorney. Our attorneys do not charge a consultation fee for issues pertaining to modification of timesharing agreements. Our family law firm has offices in West Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Stuart, Florida.