Important Recent Change in Florida Law About Changes in Child Custody

If you consulted a Florida attorney over the last several years about trying to obtain a change in custody of your child, you may have been discouraged and disappointed.

Because the attorney would have advised you that, among other things, to change custody, you would bear the burden of demonstrating that the existing custody arrangement was detrimental to your child. And that often that is not so easy to do.

And that advice was a bitter pill to swallow in recent years if you genuinely believed that a change in custody would benefit your child.

The Florida Supreme Court came to the same conclusion last year in an important case which took up this issue and changed the law, with far-reaching impact.

Since that case, a parent seeking a modification of custody no longer has to show that the existing custody arrangement is detrimental to his or her child.

The parent need only show that the change in custody is in the best interests of the child, the same standard that applied in the original custody determination.

(There still must also be a substantial change of circumstances, but that is more likely to be present in modification cases.)

Now, a non-custodial parent who wants to pursue a modification of custody in the best interests of his or her child need not be discouraged.