There’s a long list of reasons why you may have an unbalanced child custody arrangement. Maybe you felt depressed after receiving news of the divorce, and you either didn’t ask for shared custody or you turned to alcohol and drugs, making the courts worry about your ability to parent. Perhaps you didn’t get your own place right away, so you couldn’t take the kids overnight. 

Regardless of why your circumstances led the courts to give your ex more parenting time, if your life is now more even keel, you may be ready to step up and spend more time with the kids again. It may be time for you to consider seeking a modification of your child custody or visitation order.

What is custody modification?

A custody modification is a formal change to the order created by the courts during your divorce. Some former spouses make informal arrangements to increase one parent’s time with the children, but such agreements are not enforceable if either parent changes their mind later. 

By going to the courts and requesting a modification hearing, a parent can formally increase the amount of parenting time they have, which means that they then have the option of asking the courts for enforcement if their ex doesn’t comply with them. Additionally, if you formalize more parenting time, you may also be able to request a change in the child support you pay as well. 

Provided that you have evidence that your life circumstances have improved and that your increased involvement with your children would be in their best interest, the New York family courts will potentially grant you more parenting time.