Modification of Time-Sharing Attorneys

Modifying Time-Sharing Plan Arrangements

When couples initially get divorced, the parties either agree to a time sharing plan or the court enters a plan after a final hearing. In either event, the goal is to create a time sharing or parenting plan that is in the best interest of the minor children. These plans aim to set a time-sharing plan from the time of the final judgment to the child turning 18, but as you would expect, this is not always possible. Sometimes, modifications in the arrangements of a time-sharing plan, child custody and/or parenting plans become necessary over time.

Child Custody Lawyers: Altering a Time Sharing Plan

Time-sharing and other parenting issues can be modified when there is a “substantial change in circumstances” which is further defined under Florida law through the cases that have been before the court. A parenting plan may no longer be a viable option for the children because the circumstances of the family have changed. Other times, one parent may learn of new circumstances at the other parent’s home which put the children in danger.  

Not only does there have to be a substantial change in circumstances, the change is also one that was unanticipated at the time of the final judgment. This means that if you knew a particular change was coming while your divorce was pending, then the change cannot be a basis to alter your parenting plan once it occurs.  

A substantial change is not the only basis on which a parenting plan can be modified. There is also a provision under Florida law that allows one party to modify the time-sharing arrangement when the other party is substantially interfering with the other party’s time-sharing permitted under court order. Sometimes a change in time sharing (also known as “custody”) can occur based solely on this interference. However, the alleged interference of time sharing must be substantial and ongoing to seek a modification for this reason.

Finally, time sharing can be modified ex-parte (this means without a full hearing) when there is an emergency. The standard for what constitutes an emergency is very high and such a motion should only be filed when the child is in serious and imminent danger of abuse or neglect.

Common Reasons for Time-Sharing Modifications

The most common reasons for time-sharing plan modifications are listed below.

  • Differences in income and expenditures
  • Loss of employment (and/or change in the nature and/or type of employment)
  • The needs of the child (i.e. health, education, extracurricular activities)
  • Change in parental job schedules

While these reasons are usually accepted under Florida’s “substantial change in circumstances” requirement, child custody lawyers are often necessary to ensure that your modification plan is approved. Family courts seek to secure the well-being, health, safety and proper development of children. When deciding to approve petitions for modifications in time-sharing arrangements, judges desire to serve the child’s best interest. Therefore, time-sharing plans can be difficult to modify, and there are often restrictions to the amount of times that a time-sharing plan is modified to avoid instability in the child’s life.

If your time-sharing modification plan is contested, you should contact an experienced family law attorney. A child custody attorney can help you present your requests to court (or in private proceedings) with detailed information and evidence to support the necessity of your request(s).

Modification of Time Sharing Attorney in Gainesville, FL

If you believe that your custody or time-sharing order needs to be modified, contact the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates and speak to one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys to better understand your rights.