If you and your former spouse have children together, a top concern when going through divorce is to make sure your kids will continue to grow up healthy and happy. Part of the initial divorce settlement is the negotiation of custody arrangements, referred to in Florida law as timesharing. The couple may come to an agreement on timesharing terms or the court may mandate them based on the circumstances of the parents at the time of the proceedings.
But no matter the effort that goes into determining timesharing plans, we all know how easily circumstances can change over time. In the event that you or your ex-spouse want to alter the terms under which you share parenting responsibilities, the process of modification is complex and depends on whether there has been a substantial and unforeseen change of circumstances. The court will not consider modifications to your timesharing arrangement unless the proposed changes are in the child’s best interest, and judges may interpret the law very differently. What may feel like an obvious reason to change your child’s timesharing schedule will not necessarily appear that way to the court. An experienced and skilled attorney can help you navigate this process and may be able to persuade court officials that your proposed changes are in the best interest of your children.
Some of the most common grounds cited in petitions for modifying timesharing agreements are:
- A change in employment
- Long-term medical conditions
- Conviction of a first-degree misdemeanor (or higher) crime
- Abuse or neglect on the part of one parent, that parent’s significant other or another party living with the parent
- Exposure to drugs and alcohol
If the circumstances of your original timesharing plan have changed and you believe you should revisit the terms of your custody arrangement, consider speaking to an experienced divorce attorney in Tampa from the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras.