how to change child custody in Florida

Often, clients ask us how to change child custody in Florida cases. Florida child custody judges use parenting plans to resolve disputes amongst the two parents. A parenting plan should detail the responsibilities and decision-making authority each parent has for the children. The parenting plan, at a minimum, must describe how the parents will share the responsibilities of raising the child. Specifically, the plan must provide a detailed schedule for the time children will spend with each parent.  Additionally, it should designate who will be responsible for health care, school-related matters, and extra-circular activities.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida By Modifying the Parenting Plan

Once the parenting plan has been issued by the Court it will be binding on both parents. However, Florida Statute 61.13 may be a solution if you are inquiring how to change child custody in Florida. In order to change child custody in Florida under Statute 61.13, there must be a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances. Additionally, the proposed changes must be in the child’s best interest. The burden of proving that the change is unexpected and substantial can be difficult without competent legal counsel. Therefore, if you feel it will be in your child’s best interest to either modify or prevent a change in the parenting plan you should contact a Tampa child custody attorney for assistance.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida Based on a Change in Circumstances

One of the most difficult aspects of trying to figure out how to change child custody in Florida is gathering evidence to prove there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Determining if a change meets the requirement for a substantial change is decided on a case by case basis. However, there are some situations which will almost automatically be deemed substantial. These include but are not limited to:

  • Death of a parent
  • Child abuse
  • Conviction of a crime resulting in long term imprisonment
  • Repeated arrests for DUI while the child was in the car

A Florida family law court is likely to deem a change substantial when there is a combination of factors. For instance, allegations of substance abuse is generally not enough to automatically be deemed substantial unless the abuse poses a danger to the child. See Farrow v. Farrow.  Further, changes in health or financial condition of a parent is typically not enough by itself to be considered substantial. However, if the change is coupled with some other factor  it may be deemed a substantial change. For more information on Florida’s requirement for a substantial change in circumstances see Florida child custody case, Perez v. Perez. If you have questions about how to change child custody in Florida for a specific case contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida Based on the Best Interests of the Child

The court’s primary focus when determining child custody disputes the best interests of the child. The court will consider many different factors when determining if the proposed change will be in the child’s best interest. It is important that your child custody lawyer know how to change child custody in Florida and which factors the court will consider in its evaluation. Florida law does not give any preference to mothers or fathers when deciding child custody matters. Instead, the custody arrangement will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

A Florida family law court will determine custody based on the best interest of the child, and it is up to your attorney to prove to the court that your parenting plan is in the best interest of the child. The child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. know what judges consider when evaluating parenting plans and are skilled advocates. We can draft the parenting plan and help persuade the court that your plan is in the best interests of the child. Florida Law Advisers, P.A is a child custody law firm in Tampa that understands how important child custody matters are and work tirelessly to protect a client’s rights and do what’s best for the child. If you are inquiring how to change child custody in Florida call us today to speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa and schedule your free consultation.

1 reply
  1. Sarah S.
    Sarah S. says:

    I hadn’t realized that under Florida law, child custody is only modified when there is a substantial change in multiple areas. It was interesting to read that when the parent who is maintaining custody has repeated DUI arrests with their child in the backseat, that parent could lose custody. This information that children are being kept as safe as possible under child custody law makes me feel more comfortable with my nieces being in the care of my husband’s ex-wife than I was before.

    Reply

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