Amending Your Time Sharing (Child Custody) Agreement
Time sharing is a relatively newer term that replaces “child custody” in Florida. At the time of your divorce, a time sharing agreement, or, depending on when you filed for divorce, a child custody order, was entered into for the benefit of your children. In the best cases, this agreement was one that was arrived at by the parties. In the worst case scenarios, one was ordered by the court over the objection of one or both of the parties.
That said, over time, couples can arrive at amicable terms. There may even come a time when the divorced parents of a minor child agree that the current time sharing agreement is no longer in their child’s best interests. This could be based on a variety of circumstances. Perhaps the parents live in different school districts. If both parents agree that one school district provides a superior education, it might be in the child’s best interests to have that parent’s address as the “primary residence” for purposes of school registration. Alternatively, one parent’s job responsibilities may have changed, necessitating more travel, which makes them less available parenting time as previously arranged. Finally, it just may become apparent to both parents that, for the good of the child, a modification of the time sharing agreement is in order.
Steps to Take to Modify Your Time Sharing Agreement
If you and your former spouse have decided that you would like your time sharing agreement modified, there are critical steps you should take – both to protect yourself, your children, and your ex-spouse. Recall, there is currently a court order on file as a public record that dictates the terms of the current arrangement. If you modify the agreement without documenting the changes, you could find yourself in an uncomfortable situation if, for whatever reason, your ex decides to represent things differently to authorities.
Speaking with a qualified family law attorney will allow you to sort through any unforeseen issues. A family law attorney has witnessed the consequences of thousands of divorces, and hundreds of modified child time sharing agreements. She will know of pitfalls you yourself wouldn’t ever dream of. A well-crafted, modified time sharing agreement should be put in writing. It needs to be signed by the parties, as well as their attorneys, and filed with the court. This filing will protect you, your ex-spouse, and your children from any subsequent confusion or false accusations.
Be advised, while modifying a time sharing agreement is not difficult where both parties agree, the same cannot be said about modifying time sharing agreements when the parties do not agree. Consequently, modifications of time sharing should be entered into with due care and circumspection.
If you are considering modifying your time sharing agreement, with the agreement of your former spouse, it’s a good idea to have a family law attorney assist you in the process. Because time sharing agreements are bound by certain laws in the state of Florida, an attorney familiar with the court rules and procedures can help the process go more smoothly. Contact Fort Lauderdale family attorney Sandra Bonfiglio today to discuss your family’s needs.