How to Modify a Child Timesharing Schedule
Getting divorced with a minor child or children involved can be an emotional and difficult process, especially when it comes to decisions about timesharing and custody between parents. In more amicable and collaborative divorce settings, parents can come to an agreement on timesharing for their child. However, in more litigious divorces, the court may ultimately determine the timesharing agreement between the parents. But what happens when circumstances change? In Florida, parenting plans may be modified as circumstances change throughout the parents’ and child’s lives, but it must meet certain requirements in order to be approved by the court. At the law office of Steve W. Marsee, our Orlando child custody attorneys help many parents that wish to modify their timesharing schedule in order to spend more time with their child.
Modification By Agreement
The easiest way to modify a timesharing agreement for a child is by parental agreement. The family courts encourage parents to work together when it comes to the wellbeing of their child, so if both parents agree on changes to the timesharing schedule the court will most likely approve the changes. One exception to an agreed upon modification is if one parent has put the child’s life in danger in the past. Even with modifications to timesharing schedules by agreement, the court will still look to ensure that the child’s best interests are being upheld. You should always have your attorney draft and review any changes to the timesharing schedule, even if both parents agree, and file it with the court.
Modification By Court Order
If the other parent does not agree to changes in the timesharing schedule, you must get a court order to change it. Unless there is an immediate emergency involving the child’s health or safety the court will not modify a timesharing agreement without a hearing. The hearing allows both parents to present evidence and make their arguments to the court about why the timesharing agreement should or should not be changed. In deciding whether to modify the current timesharing agreement, the court will look to the best interests of the child.
Florida family courts will typically agree to modifications in a timesharing agreement when there has been an unanticipated, substantial change in circumstances and that the modification is in the child’s best interests. In order for a change to be substantial, it must be permanent or near-permanent, and unanticipated refers to the fact that it could not have been known or anticipated at the time that the original timesharing agreement was created. The court will consider whether the change will affect the child’s physical and emotional safety, consistency in their schedule, family ties, and whether it will allow the child to have a relationship with both parents as just a few of the factors considered when looking at if the change in timesharing is in the child’s best interest.
Call or Contact Our Office
To learn about how to modify an existing timesharing agreement for your child, call or contact the law office of Steve W. Marsee today.