Legal Information: Florida

Custody

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Updated: 
November 10, 2017

If a custody order (parenting plan) is already in place, how can I get it changed?

Because custody (parenting plan) is decided in the best interests of the child, an order is not usually permanent. If you have a custody (parenting plan) order already in place, you may petition the court to make changes to it (modify it).  However, to change a custody order, you generally need to prove that there has been a "substantial change in circumstances" since the original custody determination and that it is the child's best interests to change the parenting plan. Furthermore, the substantial change must a material (important) change and something that was not reasonably envisioned at the time of the original custody order.1

If a court in Florida issued the child custody order (parenting plan) that you want to change, you may file the modification petition in the circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside or the circuit court in which the original order was issued.2  A request for a change in a custody order (parenting plan) can be very complicated.  If you want to change a custody order (parenting plan), we recommend that you seek the advice of a lawyer.  If you need help in finding a lawyer, you can find one on our FL Finding a Lawyer  page.

To find the location of the circuit courts in FL, go to our FL Courthouse Locations page.

1Wade v. Hirschman, 903 So.2d 928 (2005)
2 F.S.A. § 61.13(2)(d)