For many couples, the most contentious aspect of their divorce is usually the matter of child custody. Since no parent wants to forfeit time with their child, it can be difficult for a couple to agree upon a suitable time-sharing plan. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to leave this decision with a family law judge—as they would subsequently be required to issue a ruling that is most accurately aligned with the child's best interests.
While the allocated custody arrangement may be suitable for the time being, there is no way to know whether or not it will serve the child's, and parents', best interests in the future. For this reason, both parents are afforded the opportunity to seek a modification when a significant, lasting and unanticipated change in circumstances has rendered the current arrangement impractical.
When would I have grounds to request a custody modification?
As mentioned earlier, you must be able to show that a significant, lasting and unanticipated change in circumstances has taken place in order to seek a child custody modification from the court.
While a new arrangement can be worked out amicably between the parents, it may be necessary for one to file a "Supplemental Petition to Modify Parenting Plan / Time Sharing and Other Relief" when the other has objected to a modification.
In doing so, they would be required to show that one or more of the following circumstances has rendered their current time-sharing plan impractical:
- The child's living environment has become unsafe
- One parent has developed a substance abuse problem
- The child has been subjected to domestic violence
- One parent is planning on relocating with the child
- One parent has neglected the child's medical needs
- One parent can no longer financially support the child
- One parent has become permanently disabled
How Do I Modify My Child Custody Arrangement in Florida?
Undergoing a divorce is never easy, but the process can be especially complicated when children are involved. As a parent, you want to ensure that you are able to spend time with your children, as well as participate in the process of making decisions about their health, education, and religious upbringing, but without a viable custody arrangement, this can become a seemingly impossible task. If, at the time of your divorce, you were unable to secure a parenting plan that you deem suitable, however, there are still ways in which you can modify the existing arrangement. As long as you have reasonable grounds to request a modification with the court, it is really not as difficult of a process as it may seem. To determine whether or not you may qualify, you should start by consulting with a Jacksonville child custody modification lawyer from Charles E. Willmott, P.A.
When you meet with a legal professional at our firm, we will have the opportunity to review the circumstances of your current arrangement and advise you on how to proceed. The court will only agree to a modification if the changes are aligned with the best interests of the children, rather than those of the parent, so it is important to determine whether or not there has been a significant change in circumstances. For example, you will need to provide evidence that your former spouse has:
- a) subjected your children to domestic violence
- b) neglected their responsibilities as a parent
- c) succumb to an alcohol and/or substance abuse problem or
- d) provided an unstable home environment.
All of the aforementioned reasons would give you a legitimate reason to request a change in your custody arrangement, as you would be able to show that your children's need would be more adequately attended to under your care.
In order to make the process of modifying your parenting plan as easy as possible, it is highly recommended that you sit down with your former spouse and discuss your concerns. If you can both agree on a new custody arrangement, you would then be able to prepare an agreed entry and submit it to the court. Many times, one parent will have objections and/or contest the modification, however, so you should not hesitate to enlist the help of a lawyer who can help you to move forward with a different plan. In order to request a modification without the agreement of the other parent, you must file a Supplemental Petition with the court, showing a substantial change in circumstances. From there, it will be decided whether or not the modification would benefit the best interests of the child.
To learn more about how a Jacksonville child custody modification attorney from our firm can help, call our office today.
Speak with a Board Certified Divorce Expert from My Firm
If you are interested in modifying the terms of your current time-sharing plan, the legal team at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. encourages you to retain the assistance of my firm as soon as possible. While the process of requesting a modification may be fairly cut-and-dry, it can be difficult to present a strong case without the intervention of an experienced lawyer. For this reason, you should not hesitate to acquire legal counsel before moving forward with your case.
When you contact my firm's Board Certified divorce expert at (904) 849-5183, you will have the opportunity to develop an aggressive plan of attack—ultimately equipping you with the resources that you will need to secure a successful resolution.
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"Charles Willmott is a dedicated professional who will speak the truth. Mr. Willmott is straightforward with his clients and is willing to listen. He can take what at times can be very messy situations and come up with a clear plan of action."
"I was a mess the first day I met with him; he immediately put my mind at ease and explained the different outcomes my divorce may have had. He's extremely knowledgeable, upfront, and honest."
"I have been a client of Charles for almost nine years, and he has never let me down. He always told me what to expect and has been right every time."
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