Not every child custody arrangement is meant to stay the same forever. While some orders may remain consistent until children become adults, this does not make sense in certain situations. A custody decision may become untenable once your life changes or your children become older.
There are a lot of reasons you may need to edit an existing custody arrangement. If you or the other parent experiences a change in income or is planning to move away, a child custody modification may be necessary. Here are some tips for changing a custody order.
1. Make sure there is a valid reason
You cannot simply decide to change a custody order on a whim. There must be legal grounds for justifying a custody modification. Some grounds for modifying custody may include the following:
- Your child is in immediate danger of violence.
- One of the parents is moving away.
- The financial situation of one or both of the parents is significantly different.
- The other parent is consistently ignoring the custody or visitation agreement.
- Your child is 12 years old or older and is expressing a desire to primarily live with you.
These are just some factors the court may consider.
2. Gather important records
If you believe you have a strong argument for altering the custody order, you must be able to prove your case. Maintain records to demonstrate why you want to adjust the agreement. Is your ex partaking in inappropriate activity on social media? Did you lose your job? Gather any evidence that may be useful to bolster your point of view.
3. Take immediate action during emergencies
There are certain situations that may require quick action. For example, if you believe your child is in imminent danger of abuse, you should contact the police. You may be able to get an emergency order until the whole situation is resolved.
If you follow these three guidelines, you may be able to update your custody order.