What are the Most Common Grounds for Parenting Time Modifications?
When couples who share children get divorced, they are required to come up with a plan for how they will divide parenting time. Once put in place, these plans become court orders with which both parties are required to comply. Judges do realize, however, that a family’s circumstances change over time and so are willing to modify parenting plans and parenting time agreement that no longer work for the family. Although Florida law allows parents to request a modification, courts will only approve such petitions if they are deemed to be in a child’s best interests. This can be a difficult threshold to meet, making it especially important for those who have questions about modifying their own family’s parenting plan, to reach out to an experienced child visitation and parenting-time lawyer for advice.
Modifying a Parenting Plan
In Florida, a judge won’t approve a parenting plan modification request unless he or she deems the change to be in the child’s best interests, as a change in a child’s schedule for superficial reasons is generally to be avoided. For example, judges won’t usually approve a request for modification just because one of the child’s parents no longer wishes to drive that child to soccer practice on certain days. Instead, courts only amend the terms of a parenting plan when doing so will improve the child’s life. Some of the most common grounds for modification that are deemed to satisfy this burden include the following:
- One or both of the child’s parents need to relocate;
- The child is significantly older than when the parenting plan was first implemented and has requested a reasonable change;
- One of the child’s parents has systematically failed to implement the current parenting plan schedule;
- The child is facing some type of danger under the terms of the current arrangement;
- One of the parents or the child have been diagnosed with a serious illness;
- The child’s educational, social, or health needs have changed; and
- The behavior of one of the parents has caused a dramatic change in the child’s overall wellbeing or physical or mental health.
If your child has requested the modification of your current custody plan or you have concerns about whether your parenting plan is still meeting your child’s needs, you may want to consider requesting a modification. This can be a complicated process, however, especially if your child’s other parent doesn’t agree, in which case, you may need to litigate the matter in court. To talk over your situation with an experienced advocate before proceeding with your modification request, please call our office today.
Call Today to Set Up a Free Initial Consultation
If you and a former partner currently have a parenting plan in place, but you no longer think that plan represents what is best for your child, you should speak with an attorney about your legal options. Please call experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation & timesharing lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to learn more about how we can help. You can reach a member of our legal team by calling 954-945-7591 or by completing one of our online contact forms today.