Navigating family life after a divorce has challenges. It can be a significant adjustment to learning how to parent your children separately.
As a parent, you can always count on change. The custody agreement that worked for the beginning of your divorce may not be the best agreement for you and your family now.
Here’s what you should know about modifying your custody agreement and what courts look for when you want to make a change.
Conditions to make a change
Courts expect a child custody agreement to keep parents accountable for their responsibility for the child. While there are conditions to allow parents to make changes, the agreement should cover various circumstances to make changes infrequent.
In Florida, the courts allow parents to change the custody agreement when there both parents are in agreement, or there are significant and unanticipated changes in circumstances, such as:
- Parent relocation
- Illness or injury of parent or child
Even in these circumstances, courts will look at the child’s best interests and make a judgment based on what is right for the child.
When one parent is moving
Not every move is grounds for making a change in a custody agreement. Typically, courts will only consider a modification if the move will be more than 50 miles away and for more than 60 days.
When one parent plans to move out of the area, you and your spouse will need to reach a new agreement about who has custody and how you will make exchanges. Keep in mind, depending on how far away the move is and the logistics of changing custody, you and your spouse may need to agree on longer custody blocks and how you will share holidays.
As you and your spouse move toward a new custody agreement, consider the parts of the agreement that are most important to you so that there are areas where you are comfortable compromising. You may not get everything you want out of the new arrangement, but you should know your priorities.