Grounds for modification of timesharing
It is unrealistic to think that one or both parties of a modification arrangement will be in the same situation in ten, five, or even two years that they were when the agreement was first made. People change, and circumstances change—sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. To compensate for changes, Florida law allows parties to petition for the modification of modification. However, for a court to grant a modification of the time-sharing arrangement, the petitioning parent must provide evidence of a substantial, material, and unforeseeable change in circumstances. If you wish to modify your court order because you or your child’s other parent has experienced a significant change in circumstances, contact our Boca Raton modification lawyers today.
When Courts May Modify Timesharing in Florida
When making the initial child timesharing determination, the judge did so with your child’s best interests serving as the primary factor to be considered. Some factors that the judge considered when determining custody include the following:
- The age of the child;
- Yours and the other party’s relationship with the child;
- Yours and the other party’s living situation;
- Yours and other party’s ability to provide continuity and stability for the child; and
- Yours and other party’s willingness to support the other’s relationship with the child.
Florida law does not allow a change in child timesharing arrangements based on one parent’s dissatisfaction with the arrangement. Generally, there are only three reasons that may propel a judge to consider making a modification to a timesharing agreement. Those are as follows:
- Both Parents Agree to a Modification: If a modification is uncontested, each can approach their respective lawyers, have said lawyers draft a new parenting agreement, and request the approval of a judge. This is the easiest way to obtain a modification to a court order.
- A Final Judgment of Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence Has Been Entered Against a Parent: If the other parent became angry with you, your child, or both at one point and you had to call the police and/or file for a petition for a protective order, you may receive emergency relief, which means that you will maybe awarded sole parental responsibility until the injunction has been lifted.
A Substantial Change in Circumstances Has Occurred: “Substantial change in circumstances” can be something that happens instantaneously or something that occurs over time. It can be an injury, an illness, a major move, or the development of addiction—all occurrences that may negatively impact one’s ability to parent.
Instances that are not typically not considered a substantial change in circumstance includes a job promotion, an isolated incident of domestic violence, or even an isolated incidence of drug use. For the courts to seriously consider a modification to a timesharing order, the petitioning parent must be able to prove that the change is in the child’s best interests.
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