Florida family courts place a heavy emphasis on having both parents actively involved in the lives of their children. Currently, Florida uses the terms parental responsibility and time-sharing to refer to matters of child custody and visitation rights. Although the court would prefer the participation of both spouses in these activities, it also recognizes that unusual circumstances may dictate otherwise.
A spouse’s incarceration, substance abuse problem or sudden illness or disability may prevent him or her from properly participating in his or her parental responsibilities and time-sharing commitments. If you are currently experiencing a need to modify your Florida child custody plan, there are a few things you should know.
Some parents erroneously believe that they can refuse time-sharing opportunities to the other spouse because of their failure to pay child support. This is an unfortunate misconception. In fact, your inability or unwillingness to comply with existing court orders can have adverse effects regarding your child custody situation. You could find yourself having your custody and visitation reduced or even removed based on the seriousness of your actions.
A better way to deal with noncompliance from your ex-spouse is to seek legal remedies through the court. Your Florida family law attorney can represent you in a petition to modify an existing court order. Generally, a court will require a showing that a substantial, material or unanticipated change of circumstances has occurred that merits such a modification.
Presenting evidence that your ex-spouse is consistently late or fails to attend scheduled visitation times is one example of something a court might consider when determining whether to modify a custody plan. Another example might include offering proof to the court that your ex-spouse has exposed your child to illegal or unnecessarily dangerous activities.
Based in Miami, our law firm represents clients in post-divorce child custody modifications throughout South Beach and the greater Miami-Dade area. Both the attorneys and staff working at our law offices are also bilingual. Members of our firm are capable of communicating with clients who feel more comfortable communicating in Spanish. Prospective clients should know that our law firm is committed to providing experienced and cost-effective solutions to their family law needs.