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Child Custody Modification

Modifying a child custody order can be a volatile situation if both parents do not agree on what is best for the child. Even in situations where a child custody agreement is reached with the best interest of the child in mind, situations can change in a way that makes one parent unhappy or uncomfortable with the arrangement. If you believe that your current child custody situation is no longer what’s best for your child, contact a South Walton family law attorney.

DeFuniak Springs Child Custody Modification Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC if you are seeking to have your child custody agreement modified in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Fort Walton Beach, Noma, Milton, DeFuniak Springs, Shalimar, Esto, Vernon, and the surrounding areas. The attorneys of the Adkinson Law Firm will use their forces to pursue a custody agreement that is ideal for your family.

Call Clay Adkinson today at for a consultation on your child custody modification case, in Destin and the surrounding areas. Your initial consultation is free, and it will provide you with valuable child custody information.

Child Custody in Florida

In Florida, sole and joint custody are not legal terms. Instead, Florida uses the terms “Parental Responsibility” and “Primary Residence.” Parental Responsibility gives a parent the ability to make medical, religious, educational, and other decisions for the child. In most cases, parents will share parental responsibility; however, the Court does have the ability to award one parent sole parental responsibility for the children.

Primary Residence refers to which parent the child primarily lives. One parent will usually be chosen the primary residential care parent, with the other parent being allowed reasonable rights of visitation. Florida also recognizes rotating custody, which is where the parents have equal time-sharing with the child.

Child custody is awarded based on several factors. Generally, one factor is not enough to influence a judge’s decision, but an accumulation of factors.  These factors include:

  • The mental and physical health of each parent;
  • The overall needs of the child;
  • The desire of the child (if the child is deemed to be of age to make an informed decision);
  • Any evidence of child abuse;
  • Any evidence of domestic violence;
  • The character of each parent;
  • Which parent can provide the most stable home life for the child;
  • The willingness of each parent to support a relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • The relationship of the child with family members from each side of the family; and
  • How well the child will adjust to his or her new environment (school, home, community).

Modification of Child Custody in Florida

In order to have a child custody order modified, a parent must be able to show that a significant or unexpected change in circumstances has negatively impacted and will continue to impact the child’s well-being. In order for the change of circumstance to be significant, it must involve something negative in the child's current environment such as improper supervision, or harmful conflicts with a parent or stepparent.

A custody order may also be modified if the child expresses the desire to live with the parent who was not originally awarded custody.  However, the child's reasons must be sincere and not appear to be the result of coaching or bribery. In addition to showing a change in circumstances, the parent seeking a change of custody must show that he or she can provide a better environment for the child than the child's current environment.

If parents voluntarily wish to change custody, they may do so without having to prove that a significant change in circumstances is affecting the child’s life. Parents may change custody and visitation without obtaining a court order, but if the parents want to legally and officially modify the custody arrangement, they must get a court order modifying custody and visitation.

Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Child Custody Modification Attorney

If you seeking to modify a child custody order anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, it will be in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation. Adkinson Law Firm, LLC helps clients in such communities as Bonifay, Gulf Breeze, Wausau, Freeport, Destin, Niceville, and many surrounding areas.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is a DeFuniak Springs family law attorney who will use his knowledge and experience who will work hard to get you the child custody agreement that you desire. Contact the Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your child custody modification case.