Could A Change In My Schedule Justify A Parenting Plan Modification?
It’s not uncommon for parents to experience a change in their work or personal schedules that necessitates a modification in their custody arrangements. In fact, this happens all the time, especially as children grow and their own needs change. At the end of the day, whether a judge will permit a family to make significant changes to a parenting plan will depend on that family’s particular circumstances, as well as the reason for the change. For help determining whether your own change in circumstances will justify a modification of your parenting plan, call our office today.
Is the Change in Your Schedule Substantial?
Before a court will approve a change to a parenting plan, the petitioning party will need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, either for the child or for one of the parents. Examples of substantial changes include:
- A major change in the work schedule of one or more of the parents;
- A major change in the child’s school schedule;
- A significant change in one of the parent’s travel schedules; or
- A change in one or both of the parents’ living arrangements.
To justify a modification of the parenting plan, the change can also not be temporary, as parents are expected to adapt to these kinds of non-permanent changes on their own without the intervention of a court. If, however, the change is permanent or has no end date, then it could be substantial enough for the parties to request a time-sharing modification.
Do You Want to Request a Modification?
If, based on these standards, it seems like your own change in circumstances justifies a modification of your parenting plan, you should think about reaching out to an experienced attorney, as there are specific rules and deadlines with which petitioners must comply when making these requests. An attorney could also help save you time and money if your change in circumstances definitely won’t be considered substantial enough for a modification request. In these cases, you and your co-parent may be able to work out a voluntary and temporary change to your agreement in an out-of-court setting and without the intervention of a judge.
If you do decide to go ahead with the request, you’ll need to submit an official petition with the court, with an explanation for and evidence of the requested change. You should also be prepared to attend a hearing, where you’ll need to present your evidence and if necessary, refute the claims of your co-parent. This process usually takes a few months, but could take longer depending on the court’s schedule and the complexity of your case.
Get Advice From an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Child Custody Attorney
Dedicated Florida child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. has been helping families with their custody-related legal problems for more than 20 years. If you could benefit from the help of an experienced and compassionate lawyer, reach out to our office at 954-945-7591 today.