When you got divorced two years ago, the court attempted to come up with a joint child custody solution that worked for both of you. It wasn’t your ideal solution, but it seemed fair. For those two years, it worked.
But now you’d like a modification. You just don’t know if your reasoning will hold up in court. After all, you have to follow that court order until a modification is legally granted. You can’t just change the situation on your own and then try to get it altered. That could violate your ex’s rights.
As you work your way through this, here are five potential reasons to ask for that modification.
- The child’s best interests changed. Ultimately, the court seeks out the child’s best interests over your own. For instance, perhaps your child wasn’t in school when you got the first order, but now he or she has started going. Your ex lives too far away and takes your child away from his or her peer groups and after-school activities. You want sole custody to keep the child near school and friends.
- You or your ex plans to relocate. Perhaps you got offered a new job on the other side of the state. It will certainly have a positive impact on your quality of life and your child’s, but the current joint custody schedule won’t work.
- You believe there’s a danger to your child. Perhaps you’ve seen unexplained marks on the child’s arms and legs. You think your ex turned abusive, and you don’t want your child exposed to that danger. In these cases, you may want to look into restraining orders and other options to get the child out of your ex’s house right away. Domestic violence is nothing to take lightly, even if it’s hard for you to imagine your ex is going that far.
- Your ex passed away. This is often very straightforward, and the court will move all parental rights over to you. However, the legal modification may still be required, and there are cases where a third party acquires certain rights and obligations. Don’t assume anything. Just make sure you know your rights and what legal steps to take.
- You ex doesn’t follow the order the court already handed down. Maybe your ex stopped bringing the child to your house on time, for instance, denying you your custody rights. If your ex ignores the court order, a modification may take rights away from him or her and give you sole custody.
The key thing you should take away from this is that modifications, while possible, have to get done through the proper channels. You absolutely must know exactly how to proceed and how to show that the child custody modification is necessary.