Emotions and stress run high during divorce, which might mean you don’t make the most rational decisions. For example, you might immediately agree to the terms your spouse requested when they serve you, only to later realize that meant you could only see the children for a few hours a couple of nights a week and every other weekend.
It’s also possible that the instability you experienced during the initial separation meant you weren’t in a position to really spend a lot of time with your kids. If the courts limited your parenting time or you agreed to a parenting plan that allocated very little time-sharing to you, it may be time to go back to the Florida courts and ask for a custody modification.
Has there been a material, substantial change in circumstances?
Technically, to qualify for a custody modification, you need to show that there has been a major change in your situation. Sometimes, moving to a new shift at work or securing a new rental home can be enough of a change to justify a modification request. Attending a parenting course, spending a few months in therapy or getting control of your drinking again after the divorce might also be a reason to ask for more time-sharing.
Generally, you need to prove that something substantial has changed, meaning that what is in the best interest of the children will have changed as well. The family court system in Florida recognizes how important the involvement of both parents can be for the health of the children, so the chances are good that they will look favorably on a request to spend more time with the kids.
Does your ex have to agree with your request for it to succeed?
If your ex already has more parenting time or decision-making authority, that doesn’t mean they have the ultimate say in what happens with your children after divorce. The courts can choose to reallocate both decision-making authority and time-sharing in a modification request.
If your ex does not agree to your proposal to spend more time with the children, then you may have to go back to the family courts to litigate. As long as a judge agrees that seeing you more would be good for the kids, your modification request stands a good chance of succeeding. Recognizing when it is time to adjust your existing parenting plan will make sharing custody a little easier.