When one ex-spouse has primary custody of a child, the other may desire to have full custody as situations change. But according to the Clearwater Patch, these changes must be substantial for a court to alter an already decided custody arrangement.

It is true that circumstances can change for the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent and the child that can affect what the best interests of that child may be, despite what agreements were made by parents or the court in the past.

As time passes, a parent may feel that a change in custody is necessary. To best prove to a court that a non-custodial parent deserves more time with the child, substantial changes of circumstance must be demonstrated, says the news source. Florida law states, for example, that the parenting plan may not be modified unless a substantial, material or unanticipated change effects the best interests of the child.

According to the Alaska Court System, examples of significant circumstances that can alter a child custody arrangement include a custodial parent going to jail, an act of domestic violence or a parent that is moving away so the visitation schedule must be modified.

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