A divorce is typically a final decision, set in stone. Both spouses continue onto their next phases in life. But when children are involved, it’s different. To keep up with their growth, parenting plans need adjustment.
It’s completely normal to rework child custody and visitations schedules. Reasons for the modifications vary depending on the circumstance. Overall, the request for change centers around the child’s best interest.
So, how do you know when it’s time to alter the agreement?
You or your ex-spouse is relocating
Moving is a part of life. Not everyone manages to stay in just one place. Maybe your job is asking you to move across the country after a recent promotion, or your ex-spouse is moving in with a terminally-ill family member in a different state. The court will consider these types of situations, and how they affect the child. The modifications keep in mind the child’s quality of life, and aim to protect them from impact.
The initial visitation schedule isn’t working
The child custody and visitation schedule may not work for many reasons. One of the parents might not cooperate with the schedule entirely, making the arrangement impossible. It could be interrupting the child’s life, causing tension and irritation. You will have to agree upon a new visitation schedule, and explain to court why the initial schedule did not work.
Your child is potentially in danger
On a more urgent note, you may have reason to believe your child is in harm’s way. Physical danger is an immediate threat the court takes very seriously. They will take into account the child’s willingness to leave that household, whether the situation is an emergency, and the overall threat of domestic violence.
Typically, child custody and visitation modification is successful when both parents come to an agreement. This is not always the case. When one parent doesn’t agree with the modifications, the issue to brought to court. Immediate danger to the child is grounds for early modification, then a hearing afterwards, once the child is safe. The court considers consistency, physical and emotional safety, and family ties when coming to a final decision.