I Need to Change the Custody Agreement I Have with my Ex
You and your spouse settled on a custody agreement and visitation plan at the time of your divorce, but things have changed, and the original agreement just isn’t the right fit anymore. The parenting plan itself is problematic and you think the entire custody agreement needs to be revamped. What options do you have moving forward?
While plenty of divorcees stick with the same custody agreement for the life of the document, sometimes one or both parents seek changes. When those changes are in a child’s best interest due to dramatic changes in circumstances, the possibility for modification is very real.
What Kinds of Changes Might Justify Custody Modifications?
Changing a custody agreement is a big deal that requires a judge’s stamp of approval. In some situations custody might be shared, but one parent would like full physical and legal custody. Conversely, perhaps one parent has full custody, and the other is seeking shared custody. While such modifications are possible, they won’t happen on a whim. Custody changes are predicated on dramatic alterations in one or both parents’ situations, and could include:
- Health Issues: If one parent’s health has spiraled downward to the point that they are no longer able to care for a child, even part-time, changes might be in order. If a child has escalating health issues that require particular treatments, medical equipment, or accommodations that cannot be addressed in one parent’s home, it may be necessary to change custody requirements.
- A child’s age: If the child was an infant that required regular nursing at the time of the divorce, but has grown old enough to enjoy more time with the father, it seems a custody modification is worth considering;
- Abuse or neglect issues: If one parent has failed to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child in terms of, say, supervision or nutrition, documentation of the problem could lead to custody modifications. Likewise, demonstrated physical, sexual, or emotional abuse will influence a judge’s custody determinations. Any time kids are deemed to be unsafe, the courts will intervene.
- Child’s preference: The child may have been too young to opine on a custody preference at the time the divorce occurred, but time has passed and things may have changed. A child’s wishes may hold a lot of weight as they get older.
There are a number of other considerations when it comes to custody modification, including the willingness of each parent to include the other in the child’s life, each parent’s moral fitness, the location of each parent’s home, and more.
Filing With the Courts
There are a number of forms that need to be filled out to achieve custody modifications, and, when there isn’t agreement between the parents, documentation to justify the request are required, as well. Depending on the changes, there may be significant adaptations to child support requirements, as well.
The Advocate You Need
At WiseLieberman our experienced Boca Raton child support modification attorneys will fight for the best possible outcomes for you. Schedule a confidential consultation in our Boca Raton office today.