Thank you for your patience.
There's no immunity, because custody and visitation issues are never "set in stone." That is because if there is a material change in circumstances, either parent could seek modification. That doesn't mean he will be successful, however.
First, the term “custody” does not exist in Florida any longer for family law cases. Florida now uses the term "time-sharing" and establishes a time-sharing schedule rather than a visitation schedule.
After an initial custody determination was made (for older divorces) or a time-sharing schedule was established (for more recent divorces), the best interest of the child is not the first aspect of time-sharing the court will consider to modify the time-sharing/custody.
Rather, a parent must first show a substantial change of circumstances. Section 61.13, Florida Statutes, specifically states: “A determination of parental responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child."
There are three critical words:
Thus, before he decides he wants to change time-sharing, he needs to have a lot more evidence than simply believing that your children will be better off. Some instances that might be considered a substantial change in circumstances would include a parent who develops an addiction problem, enters into an abusive relationship in which the child is exposed to the abuse, or where the parent continuously interferes with the other parent’s time-sharing. These are substantial, material to the child, and were unanticipated.
Just because the court case is over, therefore, and he thinks he would be the better parent, will not by itself, be enough for him to be awarded custody. If the children are doing well in their current environment, a judge will be very reluctant to modify that arrangement.
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