According to Florida case law, the court will allow modification to a Parenting Plan if one of the parents can provide evidence of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and that modification is in the best interests of the children’s mental health, physical health, and educational success:
A trial court may only modify a final parenting plan upon a party meeting her “extraordinary” burden, Hollis v. Hollis, 276 So. 3d 77, 79 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019) (quoting Wade, 903 So. 2d at 933), to establish “a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child,” C.N. v. I.G.C., 291 So. 3d 204, 206 (Fla. 5th DCA 2020) (quoting § 61.13(3)).
To warrant modification, the alleged change in circumstances must not have been reasonably contemplated at the time of the original judgment. Hollis, 276 So.3d at 79. A “parent requesting the modification must establish more than ‘an acrimonious relationship and a lack of effective communication in order to show a substantial,'” material, and unanticipated change of circumstances. Korkmaz, 200 So.3d at 266 (quoting Sanchez v. Hernandez, 45 So.3d 57, 62 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010)); see also Hollis, 276 So.3d at 80; Ring v. Ring, 834 So.2d 216, 217 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002). Courts have found a change in circumstances sufficient for modification when one parent has engaged in a course of conduct of failing to comply with the parenting plan, see Wade, 903 So.2d at 935; hindering the other parent’s attempts to foster the child’s health, education, and stability, see Ezra v. Ezra, 299 So.3d 466, 469 (Fla. 3d DCA 2020); or neglecting the child’s health needs and providing an unstable home life and education, see San Marco v. San Marco, 961 So.2d 967, 969-71 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007).
Quick Tip: A recent change in the law added a rebuttable presumption that equal timesharing is in the best interest of the child. The new law also allows the court to consider a modification to the time-sharing schedule when a parent relocates within 50 miles of the child. Therefore, the holding(s) in this case may be impacted by the new law. This is why we say these articles are for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Florida law is always changing and the facts of each case are unique, which can impact the outcome of a case. Therefore, we strongly recommend talking with an experienced Florida lawyer to learn your rights.
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