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Appellate Court Reverses Modification Of Time-Sharing Where There Was No Competent Material Evidence Of A Substantial Change In Circumstances or Harm to Child

November 17, 2015 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

 

 

 

In George v. Lull, the Fourth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed a modification of time-sharing in favor of the father because there was no competent material evidence of record to show a substantial change in circumstances and to support the modification of time-sharing. 

The time-sharing schedule that the father sought to modify provided for the parties to have alternating week days and weekends and provisions were made to accommodate the parents work travel  schedules.  The father ultimately sought the child having alternating two week blocks of time with each parent.

The mother initiated the post judgment litigation by filing for relocation claiming that she had lost her employment and wanted to move to a location which had more employment opportunities for someone with her experience and skills.  In response, the father sought modification of the time-sharing schedule claiming that there had been a substantial change in circumstances based upon his now being able to work from home and because the child would greatly benefit from more time with the father. 

At the final hearing, the trial court found that there had been a substantial change in circumstances based on the change in the father’s work schedule, because the minor child was older and needed to spend more time with the father, and because the child was likely to be stressed by the present time-sharing arrangements. 

The Fourth District Court of Appeals disagreed with the trial court’s modification of time-sharing in favor of the father.  The appellate Court’s opinion makes no reference as to what happened in relation to the mother’s relocation request.  The Court reasoned that the father still had the same employment that he had at the time of the marital settlement agreement and that while he had testified that he would be able to work from home “if necessary” and be more flexible with his work travel dates and times his testimony did not rise to the level of competent evidence necessary to establish a substantial change in circumstances.  The Court also reasoned that there was no competent evidence sufficient to support a finding that the child was stressed by the present time-sharing arrangement.

While stating that while there may be instances when a change in work schedule would constitute a substantial change in circumstances the appellate Court determine that in this case the evidence did not support such a finding.

If you want a consultation with one of our attorneys or lawyers to discuss the modification of a time-sharing schedule and what kind of evidence needs to be presented to the court for a modification to be ordered by a trial court and/or upheld on appeal please call us on (786)539-4935.

 

 

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