When you file for divorce, part of the process is creating timesharing agreements for the parents. However, things do not remain the same forever. Because of this, your timesharing agreement may have to be modified to reflect the changes that have occurred.
If you want to make modifications as co-parents or request changes alone, it is good to reach out to our Neptune Beach, child custody attorney right away. At Griffin Family Law, we understand the family law process and can help you with your child custody modification. While these battles can be long and difficult at times, with the right attorney, some of the stress of the situation can be alleviated.
Understanding Neptune Beach Child Custody Modifications
According to Florida law, child custody and visitation in Florida are referred to as “timesharing” agreements. The timesharing designates the schedule that is followed for a child and the time they spend with each parent.
On the other hand, the term “parental responsibility” indicates which parent has the right to make important decisions about issues in a child’s life, such as the child’s medical care, religion, and education. The purpose of a parenting plan and timesharing plan is to provide a sense of routine, predictability, and security for the child.
Parental responsibility and timesharing orders cannot be modified on a whim or when one parent decides to do this. The modification of the timesharing schedule or parenting plan must be done by proving there is a “substantial,” unanticipated, and material change in circumstances since the last order was created.
It must also be proven that the modification is in the child’s best interest or the children in question. This means that timesharing modifications must be necessary because the current order is not viable based on the current circumstances and that the change being requested will benefit the child or children.
As mentioned above, all determinations related to timesharing and parental agreements in Florida focus on what is best for the child or children. This lets a judge think about all the factors that are relevant to the child’s well-being, safety, and health. Some of the factors a judge will consider when looking at the modification request include:
- Child’s physical health
- Safety of the child
- Emotional needs of the child
- Each parent’s willingness and ability to co-parent
- Physical and mental health of both parents
- The child’s preferences
The judge can also consider other factors based on the situation and circumstances.
For child custody modifications, though, the judge will not consider the question of the best interest of the child until you satisfy the substantial change of circumstances standard.
How to Get a Modification in Neptune Beach
To acquire a modification in Florida, the judge must approve your request. The person who is seeking the modification will file a petition with the court, and then the judge will schedule a hearing to determine if there is a substantial change incircumstances which meets the requirements to revisit and modify the parenting plan.
Some examples of situations that may get a parenting plan modification approved include:
- Proof of the child living in a harmful situation
- One parent’s unfitness
- A parent who does not or refuses to follow the existing parenting plan
- A parent who relocates
- Criminal conviction of one parent
- Job changes of apparent that means they will spend more or less time with their child
- Changes in the needs of a child
In some situations, timesharing orders can be temporarily modified in a process called ex parte, which means a full hearing is not necessary if there is some type of emergency situation. The standard that determines what is an emergency is high, and the motion will only succeed if the child is in some type of serious and imminent danger of neglect or abuse.
Contact Our Experienced Neptune Beach Modifications Attorney
Making changes to a timesharing agreement is not always an easy process. In fact, you may face serious challenges that you must overcome. While this is true, it is not something you have to deal with alone.
It does not matter if your goal is to have a more active role in your child’s life or if you want to protect your child from a change that may not be in their best interest, at Griffin Family Law, we can help. Our attorney is committed to helping resolve all your issues in a thorough and productive manner.
We represent clients in and around Neptune Beach and can provide information and guidance for your modification needs. We understand how stressful family law matters can be and are here to help. Get in touch today.