Family courts in Florida strive to avoid undue interference in how families function, even after parents get a divorce. For example, once a court has approved the child custody plan in your divorce, you and your co-parent may overcome at least some related challenges without court interference. As long as you both strive to follow your custody plan and continue preserving the best interests of your children, that is.
When do courts approve custody modification petitions?
However, courts understand that a family’s needs change over time. When this happens, a judge will approve child custody modifications if they are necessary for your children. Examples of situations in which judges may allow time sharing modifications include the following:
- One parent suffers a significant illness or injury and cannot provide proper care for the child.
- The child is exposed to potential harm by a parent or another person in the home.
- The custodial parent needs to move, but the co-parent will not agree to that move.
These are all valid reasons to request time sharing modifications. In situations like these, a court will likely allow reasonable changes to a custody plan.
When do courts deny custody plan changes?
Not all modification requests are approved by a family law judge or court. If your request for a change benefits only your desires or is frivolous, a judge may refuse. Examples of such situations include the following:
- A parent wants more free time to date or go to nightclubs.
- One parent wants to punish their co-parent by keeping them away from the kids.
- A temporary modification is requested to go on vacation without the children.
When you have a valid need to change your custody plan, remember that requesting modifications is a formal procedure. A well-presented petition reflecting your child’s best interests has a better chance of approval than a thrown-together request. An experienced lawyer can help you get the changes you need to continue looking out for your children’s best interests.