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What does it take to modify a parenting plan in Florida?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2023 | Custody Modifications

You may want to change your current parenting plan for various reasons. It could be because you got a new job that requires you to relocate. Maybe the current parenting plan is now working anymore, and you feel concerned for the welfare of your child.

Fortunately, a parenting plan can be modified. The court can revise the existing orders when necessary to suit the reality. Here is what you need to know about modifying a parenting plan in Florida.

There must be a substantial change in circumstances

Florida law requires a material and unanticipated change in circumstances to modify a parenting plan. This means there must be a significant change in the situation since the existing orders were issued of one or both parents or the child that necessitates a modification.

The modification must be in the child’s best interests

The child always takes center stage in custody proceedings. Therefore, you must demonstrate that the modifications or changes to the parenting plan you seek are in your child’s best interests.

Various factors are considered when determining a child’s best interests, including their age, needs and preferences. Each parent’s parental abilities, physical health and moral fitness also matter.

Your legal options

You can modify a parenting plan in or out of court. The first option is the easiest since it involves agreement between the co-parents on the necessary changes. Once you and your co-parent agree, you can proceed to formalize the agreement in court. A judge will review the new parenting plan to determine whether it is in your child’s best interests before ratifying it.

However, if one parent opposes the changes to the current parenting plan, the matter must be settled in court. In a nutshell, the legal process involves filing a petition in court, hearings involving both co-parents and a judgment.

Seek the necessary legal assistance

Navigating a modification petition can be challenging, and slight mistakes can derail your efforts. You must also present supporting evidence to help your petition.

Therefore, it is prudent to have legal counsel and guidance from the start. This can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.