Is There Justification For Changing Your Custody Or Support?
A divorce decree may be final, but family circumstances continue to evolve afterward. The same is true of a child custody order for unmarried parents. The law makes allowances for reasonable modifications to custody and support orders, with appropriate documentation and compelling argumentation.
You may have strong reasons to support a needed modification in child custody, child support or alimony because:
- One parent has had a significant change in job scheduling
- One parent will soon be deployed overseas in the military
- One parent is incapacitated, in jail, overseas, kidnapped or otherwise unable to care for children
- One parent needs to move for work, education or family reasons
- One parent (or former spouse) has had a significant increase or decrease in income
- A child or parent has had a major health issue
Discuss your situation with an attorney at The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., in South Florida. We can put our 50 years of experience in family law to use analyzing your child custody case and preparing sound arguments to present to a family law judge if necessary.
Of course, it’s possible that you and your ex-spouse or the other parent of your child(ren) can reach an agreement with no need for a judge to determine how your family life should be organized after a divorce or separation. For your legal protection, however, do not make changes without getting a court order. Informal agreements can backfire and lead to accusations that one or both parties are violating a court order.
Whether your case for a modification is contested or not, you need legal counsel to get a new plan in place.
Do you need to move with your child out of the area? Or, is the other parent proposing to do so? A legitimate need may sometimes be accommodated, but it is important to have the family law court’s stamp of approval. If it happens, a modified child custody plan will be necessary. Instead of seeing your child every other weekend, you may have him or her with you all summer, for example. Divorced and separated parents often have a hard time reaching an agreement in such cases, but when the child’s best interests are honored, a resolution may be found that respects both parents’ parental rights.
Relocation may be addressed either in an initial custody action or after an initial custody order has been established. Florida Statute 61.13001 specifically addresses the issue of relocation. This statute prevents a residential parent from relocating their residence more than 50 miles unless the parties enter into a written agreement before the move or a court approves the relocation. We have successfully prosecuted and defended relocation actions throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit. Ask our lawyers about the relocation statute and the cases interpreting it that may be relevant to your case.
What if the other parent has put you in a bind because he or she:
- Has stopped paying child support or alimony as ordered
- Has refused to allow you access to your children for scheduled parenting time
- Has stopped picking up your child for their allotted visitation
Whatever the problem, an experienced family law attorney can help you find a reasonable resolution. If this does not work, you may bring your case before a family law judge. Talk with an attorney at The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., to learn how we can help you overcome the present difficulties regarding custody or visitation. Call 772-221-1922 or 866-603-9936 or email us to request your consultation.