Child custody agreements are a standard component of dissolving your marriage when you have small children. The initial agreement is not set in stone. The court recognizes that your circumstances can change and allows you to modify the custody agreement when necessary.
Reasons to modify custody
Modifying a custody plan is not always simple. The court will not accept just any reason, and the parent applying for modification must provide evidence of a substantial life change that calls for an adjustment to custody.
For example, if one parent moves, wants to move, loses their job or gets married, that could warrant a change in custody. If one parent can prove that the other abuses or neglects the children or has involvement in criminal activity, the court will likely move quickly to make the necessary adjustment.
Factors the court will consider
Every situation is different, so the court considers every factor that affects the family and the best interests of the children. Some examples of factors they consider include:
- Whether the modification will require the child to move or change schools
- The physical and mental health of both parents
- How the change will affect the child’s financial security
- What the child wants, especially if they are older
- Whether either parent has a criminal record
The court also considers how each parent feels about the new plan. When both parents agree on the new terms of custody modification, the process of legalizing it is often simple.
To apply to child your child’s custody agreement, you should file a motion with the court that ordered the initial plan.