3 Things To Consider Before Changing Your Custody Order

Time For A Change In Custody?

                Things don’t always have to remain the same with a custody agreement. For most parents out there who have gone through a custody dispute with their ex and have a schedule for where the children stay throughout the week and who picks them up and where, that plan stays the same until the children are grown. In a lot of instances of parents with working relationships these sometimes just aren’t as important after awhile. However, in some cases it may be necessary to modify what you have. The reasons for this modification vary and every case is going to be unique; the reason for the requested change, however, can have an impact on whether or not your request is granted by the judge. Other important factors include things outside of the family that affect the order of things and make it apparent that a change is necessary. Here are a few things that make a difference in a custody or visitation order modification.

  • Why Does Your Current Order Need To Be Changed? The answer might be more complicated than you originally thought. Initially, a person might notice a negative change in the atmosphere the child is around with the other parent and want to change it up. Obviously this is a valid reason for wanting to modify your custody or visitation order. The thing you want to ask yourself though, is whether or not you can’t just work it out without having to change what you already have. If it’s apparent that the other parent is using drugs or drinking too much around the children, action is necessary. However, changing the agreement because of an abundance of junk food at their dad’s house shouldn’t be grounds to go back to court.
  • Forces Beyond Your Control. We all live in the real world here. Things happen that affect our lives and can’t be stopped. The changes we can control are what need to be well thought out. Getting a new job, buying a new home or getting remarried all affect your kids. Some careers require relocation every few years. If you have a court order for custody and visitation, being in a line of work that constantly keeps you moving around might not be the best option for your family. The idea is to get something permanent that works best for the kids. Constantly going back and forth to court and changing it every three years is going to be a hassle.
  • How This Will Affect Them. Changing a custody order also directly affects the child in question. If you think about it, they’re finally getting used to a set visitation schedule with their parents and then all of a sudden it changes and they have no control over it. In some states the children can put in their two cents but for the most part they are bystanders in this. Children need structure and a routine to depend on, it helps develop a sense of stability in the world as they mature. It can be very hard for a child to get used to another custody agreement as well as put them right back in the middle of the two of you fighting.

Essentially, the lesson that you need to really think about it before you put in a request to modify your order. Talking to your kids about what is going on and why will help them deal with changes in their lives. If you suspect that the other parent is involved in a lifestyle that interferes with the child’s well being, talking to your kids about it could lead to some positive changes in your lives.

Other questions to think about that may arise:

If I suspect child neglect what can I do?

Will I be able to take my child to see a psychologist or other medical professional if its not in my current court order?

How should I bring up these concerns with my child or children?

Learn more at  – www.AboutTheChildren.org

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Posted in A Childs Best Interests, Child Custody, Modifications, Parenting Plans, Raising Children
5 comments on “3 Things To Consider Before Changing Your Custody Order
  1. Elizabeth Bennett RN MSN PhD says:

    There is a lot to think about – excellent.

  2. I’m going through this right now, and my ex has not considered any of these things because my ex is basically asking for the same access arrangements that are already in place. My ex has failed to utilise access for the last 14 months and thinks that because he can afford a lawyer he believes we should always deal with these matters in the court system. He has been offered access on numerous occasions under varying circumstances and refused – however, he likes to tell people he is being denied access. I don’t see how he can be denied access when he never shows up for it and makes ZERO attempts to gain access and rejects all offers.

    I have a feeling a judge isn’t going to be too happy about this.

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