Substantial Change of Circumstances & Custody Modifications

Many things can change when you’re co-parenting. Situations in timesharing often ebb and flow. Some parents who share time can do so seamlessly, while others may have minor, unexpected situations that although are frustrating, do not warrant legal action. But what happens when a timesharing or custody situation becomes the new normal or has financial implications? Major (substantial) unanticipated changes in timesharing schedules and obligations can cause significant issues for the parent who is abiding by the parenting plan.

Unfortunately, an uncompliant co-parent can be problematic for everyone.

If you are a mom or dad who has 50/50  timeshare or close to equal timesharing you may also have an order of support. In Florida, child support is in part calculated based on the number of overnight visits. If your co-parent stops exercising timesharing regularly, or *withholds timesharing, this can have a financial impact in several ways including;

  1. Lost income: Example: Missing work to care for the children due to a “no-show.”
  2. Additional Expenses – Paying additional childcare expenses, transportation or other expenses that the other parent would normally absorb during their timesharing.
  3. Cost of living : Additional expenses for food, water, electric, etc. while the minor children are in your care
  4. * Paying child support without the benefit of sharing time with your minor children

Sadly, it can also effect the minor children and their overall best interests

Best Interest of the Children & Custody Modifications

It’s important to consult with a child custody attorney in Tampa to ensure that the best interests of your children are being considered. When one parent unexpectedly stops exercising timesharing and continues to do, whether altogether or in part, it can be emotionally upsetting for you and your children. In addition, we know that financial stresses of non-compliance with timesharing and support orders can be difficult to manage. The truth is that resolving timesharing issues that fall within the requirements of Florida Law is important for many reasons. High conflict custody situations should be dealt with head on and as soon as possible. Stabilizing an “unstable” situation as quickly as you can be highly beneficial for you and your minor children.

Permanent Changes, Material in Nature

Modifying child custody may be the best option when there are unexpected, substantial and permanent changes that are material in nature. Your current and future financial well-being is important to you and your minor children. It’s important that you receive support from your co-parent, whether it be by enforcing the parenting plan and/or by modifying your parenting plan and support. Going forward, with each situation being different, age appropriate counseling may be in order for the minor children to help them better deal with their feelings.

Supplemental Petition for Modification of Timesharing

Remember, a family judge has a good amount of discretion when it comes to modifying child custody or enforcing parenting plans. There are ways to obtain relief without going to trial. In fact, timesharing problems can be resolved between the parties through mediation if the modification is contested.

Quick Notes on Timesharing Modifications

Tampa Custody Modification Attorneys

It’s always best to get ahead of problems that are preventing you from abiding by court ordered child support or timesharing. If you have issues with compliance of a timesharing or child support order, reach out to a Tampa Family Law Attorney for legal counsel. Whether you’re experiencing personal problems or financial difficulties that are preventing you or a co-parent from abiding by a family court order it’s important to understand the long term financial and familial consequences of doing nothing to resolve it. In essence, if you are not exercising your timesharing and do not intend to do so according to your parenting plan, modifying your order may likely be in your best interest and in the best interest of your minor children.

Filing or Responding to a Petition to Modify Custody & Timesharing in Tampa Bay

Letting a high conflict custody matter linger can lead to additional legal and financial consequences. Being “non-compliant”  with a court order could result in financial consequences and may result in losing timesharing or custody of your minor children. If you are a co-parent who wishes to petition the courts for modification of custody, timesharing or parental responsibility, the burden of proof that the change is unexpected and substantial can be difficult. Consulting with a competent Tampa Bay family law attorney is the first best step to resolve.

Read: Temporary Relief / Child Custody

If you’ve been served with a Supplemental Petition to Modify Parental Responsibility, Visitation or Parenting Plan/Timesharing Schedule and other relief, it will be highly beneficial to consult with an experienced Tampa child custody attorney. If no legal action has yet been taken, and you’re having compliance issues due to unexpected, substantial changes of circumstances that are material in nature, you should consult with a lawyer to minimize any future legal and financial consequences.

Tampa Family Law Consultations

If you have any questions about enforcing timesharing or support or modifying a family law court order in Tampa Bay, reach out to Nilo J Sanchez & Associates PA Family Law & Divorce Attorneys. Located in Tampa, we are seasoned child custody lawyers serving Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco County, FL.