When Can You Modify a Child Custody Agreement?
When children are involved in a Florida divorce, one of the most important aspects of the divorce will be the child custody and visitation agreement, which is Florida is formally known as the Parenting Plan. This Plan outlines how the parties will make decisions for the child(ren), school-related issues, travel issues, as well as a detailed timesharing schedule. However, situations for families change over the years, and circumstances may dictate a modification in the Parenting Plan. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton, our legal professionals will review your case to determine whether a modification in the Plan is right for you. Call or contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.
When Both Parents Agree
The easiest way to obtain a modification to a Parenting Plan occurs when both parents agree to the change. This can be for many reasons, from a change in one or both of the parents’ lives or meeting the needs of their growing child. If both parents agree, a modification agreement is drafted, signed by both parents, and submitted to the court for approval.
Injunctive Relief Against an Abusive Parent
A modification may also be granted as part of injunctive relief against an abusive parent. If one parent has committed domestic violence against a household member, you, or your child, you can file a restraining order against your former spouse on behalf of you and your child. As part of that relief, you can request that the Parenting Plan be modified to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of your child.
Substantial Change in Circumstances
The most common reason for a modification to a Parenting Plan in Florida is that a parent or the child has had a substantial change in circumstances since the Plan was finalized. This change can be something that happened instantaneously, like an accident, or something that occurred slowly over time, such as an illness. However, in order to qualify as a substantial change in circumstances, the situation could not have been known at the time that the original order was created. Other common examples of a substantial change include a major move, development of a drug addiction, or the loss of a job.
In addition to showing that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, the parent requesting the modification must also show that the changes to the Parenting Plan are also in the child’s best interests. The court views all decisions regarding a child through the lens of whether the change is in their best interests, not that of the parent. Florida law has a long list of potential factors that go into determining whether a modification is in a child’s best interests, and an experienced family law attorney can help you present the most persuasive argument to the court in your favor.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you would like to talk about modifying your current child custody agreement/Parenting Plan with an experienced Boca Raton family attorney, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today for a free consultation.