What It Takes to Obtain a Modification of Timesharing in Florida

If you want a judge to make changes to your timesharing arrangement in Florida, it is very important to understand in advance what you need. Certainly, you need proof that the change you’re proposing in the best interest of the child. Beyond that, however, you also need proof that a substantial change of circumstances has taken place, and that the change was not something that you and your ex-spouse contemplated at the time of your divorce.. With evidence of that change, the court cannot order any change to your timesharing arrangement. When it comes to making the evidentiary showings necessary to get the timesharing changes your family needs, be sure you have legal representation from a skilled South Florida family law attorney.

The case of M.G. and C.G. was an example of how this process works and what analyses a court must make. The father, M.G., petitioned the court asking for a modification. The mother, C.G., opposed making any changes to the existing timesharing arrangement. (An Oklahoma court had given the mother primary custody in 2010.)

M.G. alleged that several significant changes had occurred since the Oklahoma court’s 2010 ruling. The father alleged that the mother had moved with the boy nine times and enrolled him in five different elementary schools, and that the mother failed to foster communication between the child and the father. The father’s petition alleged that the mother’s husband abused the boy. He also alleged that he had retired from the U.S. Air Force and, now out of the military, was in a better position to provide more care for the child.

As part of the hearing, the parents agreed to the child’s examination by an independent expert. That expert opined that, while both parents loved the child and were “good parents,” the boy would be better off living with the father. The mother then brought in the child’s therapist to give testimony that countered that of the independent expert.

The trial judge ruled for the mother, stating in his opinion that the allegations and evidence that the father offered did not satisfy the legal requirement of a “substantial change of circumstances.” The father appealed but the mother was again successful. The mother achieved a favorable result because the proof in the case did not meet the law’s requirements. In order to seek a change to timesharing, you have to show that there has been a change, that it was substantial, and that it was not contemplated at the time of your divorce. Most of the things of which this father complained, like the multiple moves and the failure to foster communication, were things that Florida law says do not constitute substantial changes in circumstances. Others, like the father’s retirement from the military, were contemplated at the time of the divorce, so they couldn’t constitute the required change, either.

Whether you seek child support, a change to timesharing or other family law issue related to your child, the South Florida family law attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. are here to provide the legal representation you need. Our attorneys have been helping clients to work toward productive outcomes for many years. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.

More blog posts:

Sandy T. Fox, P.A. Secures a Win for a South Florida Father Who Was Deprived of His Constitutional Rights in a Timesharing Modification Case, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Aug. 22, 2018

When Parental Alienation is Enough to Warrant a Timesharing Modification in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Oct. 26, 2016