It would be unrealistic to assume that the lives of both parents will remain the same after a divorce. Even one year later, circumstances may change, warranting a modification of your child custody. Family courts understand this, which is why Florida law allows former spouses to petition the court for a modification of their child custody order. If you are the petitioning parent, you must provide evidence of material, unforeseeable, and substantial changes in circumstances.
It is also possible for parents to discuss the matter outside of court and reach an agreement through negotiations. That said, you must receive court approval to ensure these changes are enforceable and in the best interests of your children.
Modifying Your Child Custody Order
If you are unsuccessful in discussing the matter with your spouse, you will have to petition the court to request a modification. The judge will examine several factors before rendering a decision.
Below are some of the factors a judge will examine when deciding whether to grant a modification:
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- Each parent’s living situation
- The age of the child
- Each parent’s willingness to support one another’s relationship with the child
- The ability of each parent to provide stability and continuity for the child
- There was a substantial change, such as relocation, injury, illness, or any other occurrence that may impact one’s ability to comply with the current order
The change that your circumstances underwent does not necessarily have to be instantaneous. If your circumstances changed over a period of time, such as the gradual development of an illness, this would qualify as a substantial change as well. Additionally, the parent pursuing the modification must prove that the change supports the best interests of the child. It is not enough to simply show that your situation changed significantly.
Discuss Your Child Custody Modification Case with a Family Law Attorney Today!
If your circumstances changed or your children’s needs now require more care or attention, you may need to modify your child custody order. At the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C., our family law attorney is committed to assisting families navigate some of the most challenging and sensitive legal matters. We understand that life is constantly changing and the terms of your divorce decree may have to change with it.
Do not hesitate to secure the skilled legal counsel you deserve. Reach out to our law office today at (407) 753-4111 to request a consultation with our compassionate family law attorney.