Once you’ve solidified your out-of-court child custody agreement and a Florida family court judge has approved it, you can rely on the ability to enforce the agreement if the other parent of your child does not comply with it. However, what if circumstances change, and it’s no longer practical nor in the best interests of your child to continue forward with the agreement?
If there has been a sufficiently significant change in circumstances pertaining to you, your spouse or your child, it might be possible to submit a request to modify your custody arrangements.
How parents can change their child custody agreements after the fact
Talk with the other parent: The first course of action when seeking to change one’s child custody agreement is to talk to the other parent of your child about the changes you or your child requires. Perhaps your child has a new activity or is suffering from a medical condition that makes the current visitation arrangements inconvenient. Or, maybe you have changed your work or travel schedule and it’s impossible to adhere to the current visitation schedule or parenting plan.
Your existing child custody agreement should reference the procedure to follow if you wish to amend or change the document. In many cases, the other parent will see the logic behind changing the agreement and you will merely require a judge to approve the modifications.
File a petition to modify the agreement: Filing a court petition to modify your child custody agreement may be necessary if the other parent does not agree with your required changes. It’s vital that you prepare this petition in a lawful manner that reflects the significance of the change in circumstances. You will also need to appear in court before a family law judge for a short hearing with the other parent to assist the judge in evaluating his or her decision on the matter.
Do you need to modify your current child custody arrangements?
If your current child custody arrangements aren’t working for you or your family, don’t delay in learning how you can seek the modifications you require. The sooner your resolve this issue, the faster you can bring your life back into better balance.