When life changes, your custody order should change, too

The custody order or parenting plan from your divorce likely plays a major role in the structure of your daily routine. When you have responsibility for your children, it will impact everything else in your life. The Florida family courts usually do their best to create parenting plans that reflect a family’s needs, including the demands of the children due to school, health concerns and extracurricular activities, as well as the parents’ employment.

Still, your life will undoubtedly continue to change and evolve after divorce. Your children will take on new hobbies and make new friends. You might pursue a new romantic relationship or even start a new job. Eventually, you may need to think about modifying the custody order so that it better reflects your family’s current circumstances.

Informal modification can work in the short-term future

After several months or years of co-parenting, you and your ex may have developed a healthy relationship again. It might be possible for you to simply discuss your family’s changing needs and make some changes to your arrangement.

Agreeing to share parenting time differently, to both be present at certain events or to accommodate one another’s new job responsibilities are ways that co-parents can informally change their custody plan.

However, informal modifications ignore potential child support changes that could result from changes in parenting plans. They also leave you at the mercy of your ex, who could potentially change their mind at any time about your informal agreement.

A modification doesn’t have to be contentious

If you and your ex already agreed to make certain changes, then you could potentially file an uncontested modification request. The courts can then review your suggested changes and potentially integrate them into your formal parenting plan.

However, if your ex doesn’t agree to make changes that are necessary because of your changing schedule or your children’s new extracurricular and educational needs, a contested modification is also an option. You can provide documentation to the courts and ask them to make adjustments that will be in the best interests of your children.

Whether you intend to file an uncontested or contested modification request, getting support early in the process can increase your chances of doing so quickly and successfully.