It is common for a child time-sharing plan put into place years before to no longer work for you and your child. Maybe you or your child have schedule or activity changes that make the current plan impractical or impossible to follow. Perhaps you have more serious concerns for your child’s safety and well-being when they are with the other parent. In any situation, you should discuss the matter with an experienced Brandon, Florida time-sharing lawyer as soon as possible.
While each situation is unique, the following are some steps you might need to take to modify a time-sharing plan.
Working with the Other Parent
Whether you need to make small adjustments or completely overhaul your time-sharing schedule, you can often start by discussing your concerns with the other parent. In many cases, they understand the need for some changes and will agree. Then, your attorney can draft your agreement and submit it to the family court that issued the order. If the judge finds that the agreement to modify is in the best interests of the child according to Florida law, they can approve it and issue the new modified order.
Unfortunately, not all situations go this smoothly. If the other parent refuses to consent to a modification, you must then turn to the court. Also, if you do not want to discuss the issue with the parent due to concerns of abuse or other harmful conduct to your child, it is likely best to go straight to the family court.
Petitioning the Court for a Time-sharing Modification
Your attorney can draft the petition for a modification and file it with the proper court on your behalf. The other parent will also have the chance to present arguments opposing the changes to the time-sharing plan if they choose. If they do not respond or attend the court hearing, you will likely obtain the modification by default, given the court rules it’s in the best interests of the child.
However, the court will only grant a modification if it is in the best interests of the child, and you can show that there was a substantial change in circumstances that warrants the modification. Substantial changes might include:
- Permanent changes in your child’s school, sports, or activities
- A major move
- An injury or illness of one parent
- Serious substance abuse of one parent
- Domestic violence or child abuse by one parent
Your attorney can review your situation and advise whether your circumstances qualify as a substantial change. If you only need a temporary change in schedules or you have a non-substantial change in circumstances, your lawyer can help you continue to negotiate with the other parent to see if you can reach a compromise.
Consult with a Brandon Time-sharing Attorney about Your Options
The law firm of Carman & Bevington, P.A., handles all types of time-sharing cases, including modifications. We fight for our clients and their rights as parents, so please contact us online or call 813-331-5972 to learn how a Brandon time-sharing lawyer can help you.