Modification of Custody & Teenager
by Dad from Florida
My ex recently moved back to the same area where I live with my daughter. She has not lived in the same state in 5 years. During the five years, she visited my daughter only 14 times beyond Thanksgiving, Christmas and summer vacation.
My daughter is now 15. My ex wants shared custody (every other week) as opposed to visitation every other weekend and one week day. She also currently pays child support and would like that to stop as well.
Her current husband stayed behind in the other state and she plans to visit him on weekends. She is planning to live with a friend and her husband during the next three years.
What are my chances of keeping primary custody of my daughter? This will be the 4th time we have gone to court in 10 years. We have only shared custody for one other 6 month period in my daughter's life. Otherwise, I have had custody and her mother has had visitation.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
Florida courts seek to act in the best interests of the child in all court rulings affecting children.
It seems your ex is trying to act in her own self interest rather than your daughter's.
An alternating week time-sharing schedule splits the time spent with your daughter in half, and may minimize the need for either of you to pay child support.
But, although it may be good that the mother wants to spend more time with your daughter, an arrangement such as the one your describe could be extremely disruptive to your daughter's life.
Teenagers are often very social creatures, and would be upset if they could not spend time with their friends after school easily and regularly.
You don't mention how far apart you and your ex will be living, but unless it is in the same neighborhood, the geography may well work against your daughter if the mother were granted more time-sharing.
For your daughter, besides the damage to her social life, there is potential damage to her academic life. If she is studious, being shuffled back and forth between houses will likely make it more difficult for her to maintain good grades.
Her books and materials may not always come with her, house to house, week to week. And her grades will likely suffer. If your daughter is not a good student, being shuffled back and forth will provide her with a ready excuse/reason not to keep up academically.
These are just a few examples of how a change could affect her negatively. Also, as a 15 year old, your daughter may also have input as to the time-sharing arrangement, and a judge or magistrate may give her testimony some due consideration.Notice:
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