What qualifies as a material change of circumstances in a FL child custody case?


A material or substantial change of circumstances is one that is permanent, material, which is cannot be minor, was not anticipated at the time of the final judgement, and those are very difficult to obtain. If you think about it, a change of age of a child, that is anticipated at the time of the final judgement. Developmental chance in how a child behaves towards one or the other can be anticipated at the time of judgement.

What we find with many issues with parents is that they come to us as attorneys with one major issue, and unfortunately they don’t fit within that definition. The reason why it’s so difficult to meet that definition is because the Florida courts and the Florida legislature do not want children pingponging back and forth between parents as they’re growing up.

Now, that having been said, a constellation or a set of changes may be sufficient taken together to equal a substantial change in circumstances. In certain circumstances such as parental alienation, parental alienation by itself is a substantial change of circumstances. Also, if you have child abuse, child abuse by itself may constitute a substantial change in circumstances. However, barring major issues like that, we have to have a constellation of many pretty serious issues before there will be a substantial change of circumstances found.


Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss the options for marital dissolution, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.