Can I Modify My Custody Arrangement Post-Divorce?
When making the decision to file for divorce in Florida, there are several different matters that must be taken into consideration. Although a couple must typically make decisions about the division of their property and come to an agreement about a suitable amount of spousal support, the conditions of the separation can become particularly contentious when children are involved. Since most parents will fight tooth and nail to gain custody of their child, this area of the divorce is usually the most difficult part. In some cases, one parent will be forced to settle for a less than favorable custody arrangement or even minimal visitation rights. In others, both parents will agree upon a suitable arrangement only to find out later that it isn't aligned with the best interests of their child. Under either of these circumstances, it may be necessary for one or both of the parents to request a modification from the court.
While divorced parents can always work out a new child custody arrangement on their own terms, one may need to take the matter to court if the other is unwilling to cooperate—which it usually the case. In doing so, they would have the opportunity to explain why a modification would be necessary and hope that the judge agrees. Since the judge would be required to look after the best interests of the child, however, they may not be inclined to alter an established custody arrangement unless there was a substantial change in conditions. Some of the most common reasons for requesting a modification may include a) one parent developing a substance abuse problem, b) one parent experiencing a dramatic change in income, c) the child being subjected to abuse, d) one parent intending to relocate to another state, etc. Each of these conditions would be a suitable reason to request a modification.
It is important to understand that this decision will be made at the judge's discretion, however, so it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with one of the Jacksonville divorce lawyers at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. if you are interested in modifying the terms of your child custody arrangement. Our firm can assist you in preparing a solid case, and we will even be there to represent you at the hearing. In order for us to assist you in securing the custody arrangement that you deserve, however, we will need you to take the first step. For this reason, we ask you to get started today by contacting our office at (904) 849-5183. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to schedule an initial consultation with our board certified attorney, Charles E. Willmott.