In an original determination of time sharing, the main factor the court considers is the best interest of the child. There can be no presumption for or against either parent, or a particular time sharing schedule.
Once the initial determination has been made, however, the standard changes considerably.
To change a time sharing schedule, a two part test is applied:
1. Has a material substantial change in circumstance occurred?
2. Would the change in time sharing be in the best interest of the minor child?
A material change must occur before the court proceeds to the second part of the two prong test, which is the best interest of the child. Courts have stated that the change must not be anticipated, and have further held that the burden to show a substantial change is “extraordinary.”
After an initial decision has been made, proving that a change would be better for a child is not enough.
A Motion to Dismiss, for failure to allege a material change in a Petition seeking to modify Time Sharing in Florida can be a useful tool to defend these actions in a cost effective fashion.