The child custody order that is handed down when you get divorced reflects your current situation, as the court sees it. However, the odds that your situation will stay exactly the same for the child’s entire life are slim. When there are changes, that’s when you may want to revisit that order and ask for a modification so that it better reflects your needs and your children’s best interests. Below are a few potential reasons to do so.
The most drastic changes are needed for long-distance moves, such as leaving the state. You may even have to seek the court’s permission to do so if the child is coming with you. However, even shorter moves in the same area may change your living situation, your schedule, the child’s proximity to peers or school, and other such factors.
Your ex is breaking the current order
Both you and your ex need to follow the current order. If your ex is breaking it, perhaps by refusing to give you custody when it is your turn to have custody, you may be able to seek a modification to protect your rights as a parent.
You worry about your child’s safety
If there is a credible reason to believe your child is in danger, the court can act. Remember, their No. 1 goal is to consider the child’s best interests. They will never intentionally put them at risk. Your ex may not have seemed to be a risk initially, but that can change over time.
Your child’s needs have changed
Children’s needs, desires and wishes all change as they grow up. It may have been better for a toddler to live in one home and get visits from the other parent, for instance, but a teen may prefer to spend time living in both homes. Modifications can reflect where you and your child are at in your lives at the moment.
If you do decide to seek a modification for any reason, it’s helpful to partner with an experienced law firm.