While you may have determined child custody in your final divorce settlement, the arrangement is not always set in stone. Life circumstances change for everyone. What worked for your family at the time of the divorce may not continue to work.
Fortunately, families can file for child custody modification. This process allows you to legally alter the custody arrangement set in the divorce settlement.Yet, there are certain factors that the judge will consider before authorizing the change in parenting time.
A look at the situation
Not all situations warrant a change in child custody plans. However, there are circumstances where modifying the court-ordered parental custody arrangement benefits the entire family.
Some cases where a child custody modification may be necessary include the following:
- A parent is sent to prison
- A parent is a danger to the children
- A parent moves a significant distance away
- A parent has domestic violence in the household
- A parent does not abide by the court-ordered parenting schedule
- A parent passes away
Anytime the child is placed in a dangerous situation, it is critical to change the arrangement as quickly as possible. The parent that has acted as the primary caretaker of the children may have an upper hand when it comes to gaining custody of the children.
A look at the children
In addition to the parents’ situation, the judge will take into account the childrens’ situation as well. Ultimately, the decision is based on what is in the best interest of the children. Aspects, such as how the children are doing in school and in the community, make a difference. If the children are older and more mature, they may have a say as to which parent they would like to live with.