When a Florida divorce includes a court-ordered parenting plan, both parents are obligated to adhere to its terms. This does not necessarily mean, however, that there will never be cause to modify an existing child custody plan. To do so, one must petition the court, and until such time that the court grants modification, the existing court order remains in effect, which means both parents must adhere to it unless they agree otherwise between themselves.
Divorce undoubtedly causes changes and disruption to children’s lives. This is why a concerned parent will want to proceed with caution before requesting changes to a co-parenting plan. Asking oneself a few questions before taking any formal action may help determine whether modification would be in the children’s best interest.
There may be stress in conjunction with co-parenting after divorce. Most stressful situations are temporary. This is why a parent should question whether his or her desire to change an existing custody plan is being prompted by the stress of a temporary issue.
Sometimes, a parent’s work schedule might change, which can make it challenging for the parent in question to fulfill his or her obligations as per a court order. Even then, it might not be necessary to request modification of the plan, particularly if there is a trusted friend or family member who can help bridge the gap, such as by driving kids where they need to go or babysitting for a short amount of time until a parent gets home from work.
There are legitimate reasons for a Florida parent to request a change in a child custody plan. If a parent needs to do so or is having trouble resolving a legal issue caused by the other parent’s refusal to adhere to the terms of a court order, it is helpful to reach out for additional support. A logical step to take is to request a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.