The court carefully considers your situation when issuing a custody order, and they try to make a decision that puts the children first and also adheres to the rights of the parents. With all of this consideration up front, why would someone ever want to modify the order? Wouldn’t it stand to reason that they already came up with a successful plan?
They may have, but situations change. When there are significant alterations, the plan that worked before may become outdated. Remember that the child custody situation could exist for as long as 18 years, so the odds that things stay perfectly the same all that time are slim. Some reasons for modifications include:
- The child’s needs change
- The child gets older and expresses a desire for a change
- It becomes clear that one home is not safe for the child
- One parent runs into trouble with the law
- One or both of the parents would like to move
- The visitation schedule no longer works properly, perhaps after a change in employment
- One parent passes away, becomes ill or sees other types of declining health and can no longer care for the child properly
- One parent ignores the schedule and violates it repeatedly, forcing the other to seek a change.
You cannot predict the future. A new job offer may come from a different state. A sudden illness may strike. Your financial situation could change dramatically in a short time. When life changes, you have to be ready to adapt. Make sure you know what steps to take to modify the agreement.