There are times when you or your ex may want to discuss changing your child custody arrangements. In many cases, the reason to do this is because there is a major life change occurring. For example, maybe you have a new job offer in another state, so you want to adjust your visitation and custody schedule. Here are four times when you may want to go to court to modify your custody arrangements.
1. You or the other parent want to move for work or family
If you want to move to be closer to your family, who are willing to provide childcare, then it's possible that you can change your custody arrangements. Or, if your ex gets a new job, he or she might want to adjust the arrangement to make sure your child still sees him or her regularly despite the distance.
Of course, if your ex wants to move and you disagree with the move, you have a right to take your complaint to the court. If the court finds that there is not a good enough reason to modify your child custody arrangements, then your child stays where he or she is. This could mean that your ex doesn't move, or it may mean switching custody arrangements to benefit your child in other ways.
2. Your child reaches an age where he or she can decide where to live
Another time that custody becomes complicated is when your child reaches an age where he or she can state with whom he or she wants to live. Usually, the courts only allow children to request modifications every two years. At that time, your child may state that he or she wants to live with mom or dad, but you still have a right to state your opinion on that decision.
The court always rules in the best interest of a child, even when a child provides an opinion on where he or she wants to live. If moving or changing custody arrangements would negatively impact your child, the court may not agree.
3. Your child's extracurricular needs aren't met under current conditions
You and your ex may decide that a modification is needed as your child grows. Perhaps new extracurricular activities make the current arrangements difficult or result in you or your ex seeing your child very little of the time. Changes to more evenly share time may benefit your child. If you and your ex agree to the changes, you could ask for a modification with both your approval to do so.
Your attorney can help you decide if a modification is best in your situation. Your child must come first, and any changes need to reflect a con cern for his or her wellbeing.