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When is it time to alter a child custody order?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Child Custody

After your divorce, you and your ex-spouse made a child custody order to ensure both of you still have responsibilities and obligations to your child. A typical custody arrangement, as you may know, includes how your child is raised: where they’ll go to school, if they have dietary restrictions, their religious upbringing and where they’ll live most of the time. Likewise, you and your ex-spouse had to decide on legal and physical custody.

However, you may have made your child custody order years ago. By now, it’s likely your custody order needs alterations. Before you change anything, you have to give a reason to a judge.

Do you have a strong reason to amend your custody agreement? Here’s what you should consider:

Your child’s grown up

Custody agreements often change because parents’ children grow up and have new needs and wants. For starters, your child may need to change schools as they increase grades and the one they’re currency going to is too far. Or, your child may want to spend more time with one parent than the other.

You or your ex-spouse is moving

Sometimes a custody order needs to be altered because one or both parents are moving. If the parent is moving a short distance, then it’s unlikely any alterations will be made. However, if there’s a significant change in location that puts a burden on a parent’s responsibilities, then there may be a consideration to relocate the child with the parent.

One parent refuses to follow the agreement

Unfortunately, some parents don’t want to follow their child custody agreement.  As such, the other parent may try to make alterations. One change, for example, would be changing the agreement from a co-parenting plan to a parallel parenting plan – this way parents can continue their responsibilities without stepping on the toes of the other.

A parent was recently unemployed

Unemployment can greatly affect how much a parent can be responsible for their children. They may not be able to make child support payments and their new job may overlap with parenting time.

If you’re looking to alter a child custody arrangement, then you should understand your legal rights as a parent.