When your divorce came to an end, you likely felt a great deal of relief. Because you are a parent, you undoubtedly felt that relief for your children as well. You may not have wanted to put them through the strain of divorce and child custody issues in the first place, but in the end, you made the right call.
At the time, you may have thought that you were finished with the divorce process and that you would not have to take more action. However, now you have concerns about the terms of your child custody agreement. They may no longer suit your situation, and you wonder whether you can have changes made.
Child custody modification
Child custody modification is certainly a legal option that concerned parents can explore. However, you must go to the court to obtain approval to any changes made to the arrangements, and the court will not alter terms for just any reason. You need to have genuine concerns or have faced a significant change in circumstances that may warrant a modification. Some reasons to pursue alterations include the following:
- Abuse: Do you believe that the other parent presents a danger to your child? If you suspect abuse and that your child may suffer immediate harm, you may have reason to pursue a custody change.
- Failure to follow the schedule: Does your ex-spouse refuse to follow the custody and visitation schedule? If so, the court may review your parenting plan and determine whether changes to the arrangement suit the situation.
- Relocation: Are you considering moving? Relocation can often throw a wrench in the current custody arrangements, especially if the parent plans to move a considerable distance, but the court may not approve alterations if the move is not taking place for a good reason.
- Death: Did the other parent face an untimely demise? In this case, the court will review the custody agreement, but it does not necessarily mean that you will end up with custody as a third party could also be considered.
As you can see, major life changes often need to occur before a child custody modification will gain court approval, and even then, it is not guaranteed.
Reviewing your options
Just as your attorney helped with the initial custody proceedings, your legal counsel can also help you understand your legal options for seeking custody modifications. Having this help may prove invaluable as you work toward the outcomes you desire.