16 Sep When Should You Modify A Child Custody Plan?
There are countless reasons why a parent may feel like it is necessary to make a modification to his/her child’s current custody plan. However, it is important to take any and all modifications into careful consideration – understanding that the child’s best interest needs to be the primary focus. The following are some of the most common reasons why parents modify child custody arrangements.
Relocation of a Parent
If one parent is relocating to a distant location, there may need to be some significant alterations made to a current child custody plan. To make this decision, the court will have to consider why the relocating parent is doing so and whether the move warrants changes to the current visitation schedule. If both parents have communicated a way to rework the plan, this process will go more smoothly. The bottom line in this situation would be to consider the disruptions that would be made in the child’s daily life. Would visits to this new location impact extracurricular activities, friendships, etc.? For more information about Long-Distance Relocations, see our prior post on the topic at this link.
Lack of Cooperation Between Parents
If one parent has not cooperated with the current custody plan/visitation schedule, the court may consider changing the arrangement. Some things that the Court will take into consideration, in this case, are the reasons why the alleged parent has not followed the current visitation schedule and how open the line of communication is between the two parents.
Unstable Environment for the Child
If one parent finds that he/she can provide a more stable environment for the child, modifications to the custody agreement can be made. Parents need to fulfill their child’s basic needs. This is crucial. Actions that can provide an unstable environment include, but are not limited to, frequently moving, changing romantic partners often, struggling to keep a job, and interfering with the other parent’s visitation rights.
Voluntary Change / Agreement
The court can modify child custody agreements if both parents have voluntarily agreed to do so. However, the circumstances of the contract will still be taken into consideration – with the child’s best interest in focus. Some common reasons to do so may include financial troubles, changes in the mental or physical health of a parent or child, and the child’s personal preference to live with the other parent.
These are only a few of the many reasons why a parent may feel the need to modify a child custody plan. If you feel that you need to amend the child custody plan that you and your ex-spouse have in place, it is important to contact a family law attorney.