What are valid reasons to modify your child custody order?

Even if you feel as though you have a valid reason to request a change to your custody order, the courts will thoroughly assess your situation prior to making any modifications.

The best interests of your children will take precedence over any argument you make. As such, you should spend adequate time preparing your petition and gathering evidence to support your request.

You need to relocate and take your children with you

You will need to file a petition to change your custody agreement if you plan to move outside of the boundaries named in the contract. Valid reasons to move include relocating to continue your education or accept a job. You might also need to move if you experience a health crisis or other circumstance that requires support from your family who might not live nearby.

Your ex ignores the custody arrangement

Custody arrangements include concise descriptions of your and your ex’s responsibilities. If your ex repeatedly ignores the agreement, you might experience ongoing difficulty as you raise your children. You may wish to modify the decree in a manner that increases your flexibility and allows you to parent without as much interference from the unwilling parent.

You have concerns about your children’s safety

At the center of any child custody agreement is the safety and well-being of your children. Childwelfare.gov lists the bests interests of children to include access to health care, food, shelter and clothing. It also includes protection from violence and environmental factors not conducive to a child’s wellness. If you have concerns about abuse, neglect or abandonment happening to your children in the care of your ex, you should file a petition right away.

Child custody should allow your children to continue a positive and functional relationship with both parents. Sometimes you will need a modification to preserve the purpose of the order.


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