When parents go through a divorce, their main concern is usually their children. To settle their future, parents must establish a child custody agreement. Once this is created, parents are required to abide by it, as it is considered law. However, while this is true, the courts understand that life changes overtime. As a result, a custody arrangement may no longer suit the needs of a family. It is because of this that modifications can be requested in order to adjust the agreement so it works better for the family. Continue reading below to learn more about how this can be done.

When Can I Modify Custody Arrangements?

When a parent wants to modify their custody arrangement, it is important to know that they cannot do so on their own. Instead, they are required to request the approval of the court. To receive this, they must have a justified reason as to why the modification is necessary. This can include the following situations:

  • The child’s best interests. If a child is unhappy or their living situation no longer works for them, a modification may be granted.
  • The child is in danger. If a parent feels the co-parent may put the child in danger or there is suspicion of abuse/neglect, they can ask for a modification.
  • Relocation. If a parent needs to move and wants to bring their child with them, they can ask for a change in their custody agreement.
  • A parent cannot meet the needs of their child. If a parent’s life circumstances make it harder to support their child the way they need, a modification may be approved.
  • One parent is not cooperating. If parents have joint custody but one of them does not follow the agreement, the other parent may request a change in the agreement.
  • One parent passes away. If a parent dies and the other parent does not want a new spouse to raise their child, they can pursue full custody. 

How is Custody Modified?

If a parent wants to change their custody arrangement, they should begin by talking about the issue with their co-parent. In the event that parents can work together, this can help the process go quicker without any issues. This is possible through either independent or mediated negotiations. It is important to note that even in these cases, parents still must present a modification petition to the court so the changes can be approved. 

If two parents are unable to agree with one another about custody changes, the parent who wants it can file a petition with the court. During this time is when the parent must prove to the court that the modification would be in the best interest of the child. The judge can then evaluate the situation and create a new custody order if they approve the motion.

Contact our Firm

The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC understands the harsh implications of relocation can have on a child and his or her parents. When you have a contested relocation matter, it is important to have an experienced attorney to represent you in court. If you are faced with a relocation matter in Rockland County, contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.