Although child custody arrangements may be included in your final divorce settlement, they are not set in stone. Life circumstances often change, and the parenting schedule that worked out before, may not continue to work in the future. There are ways you can modify your child custody schedule so that it makes a better fit for everyone involved. Child custody arrangements may need to be revisited every three years, as children grow older and their interests, needs, education and extracurricular needs change. When both parents agree on the schedule change, a simple agreement can be filed. Yet, when one parent does not agree, a modification of the child custody order may be filed, and the court will then determine if the change is in the best interest of the child.
There are several situations in which you may ask for a child custody modification. If either parent loses a job, becomes incarcerated or experiences a sudden life change, it may cause a need for a change in the parenting plan. One parent may be forced to move to another location, and it may not be possible for you to continue the same parenting schedule. Plans may need to be adjusted to account for traveling time and other issues involved. You may need to ask for a modification in orders if your child has changed their school schedule or has another extenuating circumstance that makes it impossible to continue the current schedule.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.