When can a child custody order in Florida be modified?

When a modification of a parenting plan is requested in Florida, the standard that will be used in deciding whether to modify the parenting plan is the best interests of the child. In addition, a modification cannot be made unless it can be shown that there has been a change of circumstances that is unanticipated, material and substantial. There are several factors that will be considered when a court determines whether to modify a parenting plan.

One factor is the ability and willingness of both parents to facilitate and promote a meaningful relationship between their ex and their child. Each parent's willingness and ability to honor the modified plan will also be considered. Another factor is how the parental responsibilities towards the child will be divided, including what responsibilities will be placed in the hands of a third party. The court will also consider each parent's ability and willingness to make decisions based on the child's needs rather than their own needs.

How long the child has spent in a stable, satisfactory environment and whether such situations can be continued will also be considered. Whether the proposed modified plan is geographically viable will be considered. Keep in mind that this does not need there is a presumption either in favor of or against a parent's relocation with the child.

Each parent's moral fitness will be considered, as will their health. The child's record in their community, school and home will be considered. If the child is able, the court may consider the child's preference.

Each parent's willingness and ability to provide the child with consistency in their daily routines, discipline and schedules will be considered. Each parent's ability and willingness to participate in the child's education and extracurricular activities will be considered. The willingness and ability of the parents to work together when it comes to addressing major issues regarding the child will be considered. Another factor is whether abuse, neglect or abandonment is an issue.

These are only some factors that will be considered when deciding whether to modify an existing child custody plan; there are others. Parents may have a good reason for wanting to modify a parenting plan, but in the end the child's best interests come first. This way, the child can be brought up in an environment that provides for all their physical, emotional and developmental needs.

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