A parent who has filed for a divorce in a Florida court must resolve numerous issues regarding the future care of his or her children. The average parent wants to achieve a fair settlement in as swift and amicable a manner as possible. There are times, however, after a judge has issued a child custody order that a parent determines the need to request a change.
This is known as a child custody modification, which is not to be lightly undertaken. A parent should never seek modification of a child custody order as an attempt to take revenge at a former spouse. However, the court understands that life changes and unexpected circumstances might arise that make an existing agreement no longer feasible.
If children are in danger, an immediate request for modification may be made
As long as there is an existing child custody order in place, both parents must fully agree to its terms unless and until the judge overseeing the case grants a modification. One of the most common reasons for requesting a change in a custody order is when there is evidence that the children’s safety may be at risk. For instance, if a parent has reason to believe that his or her ex is abusing drugs or alcohol, or is neglecting or abusing the children, this parent can file an immediate petition to request a change from joint custody to sole custody.
Additional reasons that are legitimate causes for child custody modification
If a parent is relocating, this might be another reason why he or she may ask the court to modify its existing custody order. Also, if the other parent has become incarcerated or has died, it would make logical sense to request a child custody modification. In any case, the court will carefully review a petition requesting a change and will act in conjunction with Florida guidelines and the individual merits of a specific case to form a decision.