Florida custody laws allow parents to modify parenting time after the initial divorce decree has been granted. Many things change after the aftermath of your divorce, and the initial plan may become unworkable or unreasonable both for you and the child. If you have been wondering how you can change the terms of a child custody order, here is how.
Why parents in Florida change their child custody order
A child custody order is typically the most sensitive decree given by the court during a divorce. This is because it dictates the life of the child during their most critical developmental stage. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that the child is brought up under the best conditions that the parents can give.
Suppose the custodial or the non-custodial parent experiences unexpected financial changes, limited physical availability due to a new job or a change in their living circumstances. In that case, they can seek a modification for the child custody decree. If both parties are on the same page on this, all they should do is file paperwork with the help of an attorney and take it to the judge to sign it.
Of course, there are occasions where the other parent is not acting in the child’s best interest. For example, they are involved in activities that endanger the child’s well-being or barely show up during their visitation times. You may need to go to court to have the child custody order changed.
How to modify a child custody order
Before you consider modifying the parenting plan, you need to ensure that the reasons behind your endeavor are based solely on your child’s interests or the change in your living situation that makes it difficult to be available at the required times. The court may deny a modification if it is not in good faith.
Once that is settled, file a petition with the help of your attorney in family court to have the child custody order modified. If you and the other parent agree on the modifications, you may not need the court to approve the changes; you could simply work with a parenting coordinator, mediator or religious adviser to amend your child custody order.
You can only modify child custody every three years. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that the change you are making will last for the longest time possible.