It’s summer break and your kids are out of school. Your custody and visitation agreement, however, only allows you to see them on certain holidays and weekends. Is there a way you can change your custody and visitation order to see them more? The answer is yes.
Here are three things you should know when seeking to increase your custody and visitation during summer break:
- You can increase your visitation rights without going to court. If you are on good terms with the child’s primary physical custodian, you may be able to agree on an increased visitation schedule while the child is on summer break. You can informally agree to alter the visitation agreement without court authorization.
- You can also go to court to modify your custody and visitation agreement. If you want to make a formal modification to the custody and visitation order, you can seek a court order to establish new visitation and custody arrangements. The burden of proof, however, is on you.
- To seek a formal court modification of a child custody or visitation agreement, you must prove two things. The first thing you must prove is that your requested modification is due to a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances. The second thing you must prove to the court is that the modification is in the child’s best interests.
The best interests of the child include physical and emotional wellbeing and consistency. Many courts recognize the emotional stress of too much change for a child, and unless there are substantial changes in circumstances, courts may not agree to a modification. In Florida law, a change of circumstances includes relocation of either parent, imprisonment of either parent or acts of abuse, and frustration of visitation by either parent. The child’s preference is also considered when determining modifications to child custody and visitation arrangements, and while there is no set age for this scenario, the child must be seen as intelligent and mature by the judge.
Our Ocala family law attorneys at Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A. are available 24/7 for your benefit. If you want to increase your visitation time to see your kids more during summer, our lawyers can help. Whether you need representation for an informal modification to your visitation agreement or a formal modification of a court order, we can fight on your behalf as you seek a beneficial solution.
Contact us today for a consultation.