If you are a parent in Orlando, Florida, who is seeking to modify your child custody arrangement, you may be wondering if it is possible to do so without going to court. The short answer is no, you cannot. A court must at least approve any modifications to a child custody arrangement in Florida. If both parents agree to the change, however, the process will be relatively straightforward. In that instance you may not have to physically visit a courtroom.
If the other parent does not agree to the proposed changes, you will need to file a petition for modification with the court, and the court will evaluate those changes and decide whether they are approved. You can get proper guidance and support regardless of your path from an experienced Orlando child custody attorney.
Reasons for Seeking a Modification
There are many reasons a parent might seek a modification of their child custody arrangement. Some common reasons include:
- One of the parents has remarried and wants their new spouse to be able to spend time with the children
- The needs of the children have changed
- One of the parents has relocated for work or another reason
- The current arrangement is not working well and needs to be changed
This list is not exhaustive, as there are many possible reasons why a person may wish to modify their child custody arrangement. In some cases, both parents may even agree to the changes, while in others only one parent may wish to modify the arrangement. In either circumstance, a court will need to be involved at least on some level.
Process To Change Your Child Custody Arrangement
In order to change a child custody arrangement in Florida, you must file a petition for modification with the court. A petition is basically a formal request asking the court to make a change to an existing order.
The parent requesting the change is known as the petitioner, and the other parent is known as the respondent. Once the petition for modification has been filed, the respondent will be served with notice of the proceedings and given an opportunity to object to the proposed changes.
If both parents agree to the modifications, they can simply execute what is known as a consent order, which outlines the agreed-upon changes. Once both parents have signed the consent order, it must be submitted to the court for approval. If one parent objects to the proposed changes, however, the matter will proceed to a hearing where both sides can present their arguments before a judge.
The judge will then make a determination whether the proposed changes are in the best interests of the child and will either grant or deny the petition for modification accordingly. In making this determination, judges will typically consider factors such as each parent’s relationship with the child, each parent’s work schedule, each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, and any instances of domestic violence or abuse.
Contact the Orlando Family and Divorce Law Firm of Conti Moore Law, PLLC for Help Today
Your relationship with your child is important. While you cannot change your child custody arrangement in Florida without any court involvement whatsoever, there are steps you can take to simplify the process, and you may be able to avoid actually visiting a court.
Conti Moore Law, PLLC
815 N Magnolia Ave Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803