Can I Modify A Florida Custody Agreement?
Determining custody can be one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce. Once a custody agreement is ordered by the court, you can face serious penalties for not adhering to its terms. However, you may be surprised to learn that they are not set in stone. In certain situations, you have the ability to modify existing child custody agreements. It’s important to make sure that you follow the correct steps in doing so, though, and get the approval of the court before making any changes or ceasing to follow the existing terms. To learn more about how to change the terms of your agreement, and when such changes may be permitted, continue reading.
How to Modify a Florida Custody Agreement
You can modify a Florida child custody agreement by petitioning the court. You can do this with the assistance of an attorney. You must have grounds to petition the court for a modification. Generally, you must be able to establish that the existing custody agreement is not in the best interest of the child. This may be true for a number of reasons. For instance, if one parent has to move out of state for work, family, or health reasons, they may no longer be able to maintain an existing 50-50 custody agreement. Additionally, if a parent has become abusive toward the child, developed a substance abuse issue, or poses another safety threat to the child, it is not in the child’s best interest to maintain the existing custody agreement and their contact with that parent should be limited. The best case scenario is that both parents can mutually agree to new terms for the custody agreement on their own. In the event that both parents can agree to a new custody agreement they can have an attorney draft the new agreement and terms and submit it to the court for approval. The court will approve the new custody agreement provided it finds the new terms to be in the best interest of the child. In the event that you are unable to agree on terms, you can petition the court with your requested modification and the court will make a ruling as to whether or not it will be granted. In order for your modification to be granted, you must be able to demonstrate to the court why the change is necessary and in the best interest of your child or shared children. It should also be noted that in most cases, an isolated event will not be sufficient to grant a change in custody. Rather, you must be able to demonstrate a significant, material, and unforeseeable change in circumstances. If you have questions about whether your specific situation may give you sufficient grounds to request a modification to your custody agreement, it is a good idea to consult directly with a child custody or family law attorney who is licensed in Florida.
Contact Our Office Today
If you need to make a modification to your Florida custody agreement, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Contact the Tampa family lawyers at Bubley & Bubley today, to schedule a consultation.