28 Feb When Should You Request a Custody Modification?
The United States has about 12.9 million custodial parents. Reaching a custody agreement can be a lengthy process. The state uses the best interests of the child standard in reaching an agreement that works for you, your co-parent, and your children. Both physical and legal custody is decided, as well as aspects such as child support.
Dry ink does not mean that the agreement signed will be in place forever. There are many reasons why a custody modification might be needed. If you think you should request a custody modification, speak to a custody attorney at Navarrette Bowen P.C. Our team can walk you through what the custody modification process looks like and get it jump-started.
Change in Circumstance
The main reason a custody modification can change is due to a change in circumstance. This can encompass many different types of changes. Significant changes, such as the loss of a job, can shift your living circumstances. If a decrease in income means you are moving to a smaller house and you want the other parent to have custody of the child, that is a valid reason to request a modification. If something more serious is going on, such as a substance abuse situation with the co-parent, it is a good time for a modification.
If either you or your co-parent is moving, there is a good chance you will want to revisit the custody agreement. If the move is far – more than 100 miles apart – the non-custodial parent is now able to spend 42 days in the summer with their child instead of 30. If the moving parent wants to bring the child with them, it needs to be discussed and agreed upon before it can happen. The court will look at how disruptive the move can be versus how beneficial. If the move is not as big, the visitation schedule may still need to change to accommodate the new location.
As children grow, their needs change. What your child needed when they were in elementary school can be drastically different as they enter high school. This manifests in many ways. They may have more of a social life, they might be studying more, or they may be involved in different extracurricular activities. These things may see them at tournaments or sleepovers on the weekends. They might also have different medical needs. In this case, the custody schedule can get modified as long as their best interests are kept in mind.
You might be in a situation where your co-parent is not following the custody arrangement. They may continuously cancel, not show up, or ask to reschedule. In this case, it is not only disruptive for you, but for your child. The lack of consistency and showing up for the child can be detrimental to their health. It can also make logistics difficult to continuously figure out. A parent can also be difficult by refusing to let you see your child. In this case, getting the courts involved provides extra protection. If the co-parent still refuses afterward, you might need to take further steps.
If your child is in danger, you not only need to request a custody modification but help from the authorities. This is true if the source of danger is coming from the co-parent or something else in their living environment. They might have an abusive family, a new partner, a new roommate, or a dangerous living situation. Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. Once you call the police, contact your attorney to get the custody agreement modified as soon as possible.
Once you decide you want to request a modification, contact your custody attorney. Be sure to not make any changes in your schedule with your child until it is approved by the court. Your lawyer will go through the proper channels to make sure everything is discussed, agreed upon, and filed correctly.
Your custody attorney is your advocate for making sure that the arrangement is beneficial for you and your family. Navarrette Bowen P.C. has a team of experienced divorce and custody attorneys ready for a free confidential consultation. Contact us today.