Modifying Child Custody in Florida


If there are substantial changes for one parent or the other, there may be grounds for modifying the original child custody or parental responsibility order. According to Florida custody laws, either parent can request a modification. However, there are certain steps this individual must take in terms of modifying child custody in Florida and certain requirements to meet before the final hearing. A Tampa court modification attorney at Quinn and Lynch can help.

Requesting a Child Custody Modification in Florida

The parent requesting the modification should file a petition in the county where the original order transpired after signing it in front of a deputy clerk or notary public. In most circumstances, there is an e-filing requirement, but this is not true for self-represented individuals. The litigant must also file other forms simultaneously, such as a new proposed parenting plan and a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit.

The filing individual must inform the other parent of the petition via personal or constructive service. This individual has 20 days to respond. The court will schedule a final hearing in which a judge will make a ruling on the request.

Grounds for Custody Modification in Florida

While there are many reasons a judge will change custody, a judge will not grant a modification just because one of the parents is not happy with the current order. The party filing for a change must be able to show a substantial change in circumstances for one or both parents, which may include:

  • Serious illness or injury
  • Major move
  • Addiction development
  • Proven history of domestic violence

The modification must also be in the child’s best interest. These include the age and needs of the child, the mental health of all parties, the safety and stability of the child, school adjustments, emotional development, and the child’s access to other family members, such as siblings and grandparents.

For more information, contact a Tampa child custody lawyer today.

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As a dedicated family law practice in the Tampa Bay area, we work one on one with our clients, resulting in representation that is characterized by genuine care and understanding. If you are dealing with divorce or other family law issues, please contact at 813-223-7739  to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family and divorce attorneys.