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Thompson Family Law, P.A.
Toll Free: 888-550-6071
Local: 239-243-9297

What happens when a parenting plan needs to be modified?

Creating a child custody agreement takes a lot of work. When this is done, the parents have to determine what they feel is best for the child at that time. They can't think too far ahead or they may end up with a plan that doesn't work at all. One thing that parents in Florida must remember is that child custody modifications are possible.

You can't just change the custody order for any random reason. Instead, there has to be a substantial change that necessitates the modification. Of course, this doesn't mean that you and your ex can't come up with a new plan based on what your child needs. Instead, this means that if you can't agree on terms and have to turn to the court, you need to ensure that you have a valid reason for requesting the change.

How can parents change the agreement?

When the parents can agree on the change, it might only be necessary to get the modification on paper and present to the court for approval. This is the simplest method of modifying the order, but it does require that you and your ex work as a team.

Petitioning the court to make a modification is a bit more complex because you have to show that there is a substantial change to in the child's life that requires the change. The judge will then have to determine what measure is in the child's best interests.

What is a substantial change?

A substantial change is one that makes it unrealistic or unreasonable to continue using the current parenting plan. It must be something that couldn't have been considered during the original custody process.

The court will only consider changes that are in the child's best interests. It must be clear that the new plan will support the child's well-being in a more meaningful manner than the previous order did.

The requirements for changing with whom the child lives if one parent objects is a much stricter standard than what's present to change things like when the child spends time with each parent. In the case of a change of living situation, the court will likely have to find that the current arrangement is detrimental to the child.

Your attorney can help you to learn what's possible in your case. This varies so be sure not to try to compare your circumstances to another person's because the outcome might be markedly different.

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Thompson Family Law, P.A.
3949 Evans Avenue, Suite 206
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Toll Free: 888-550-6071
Phone: 239-243-9297
Fax: 239-936-2542
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