When you divorce and a child custody agreement is put in place, the terms may seem reasonable enough. In fact, once everyone settles into a routine, the agreement may appear to be largely workable. However, changes happen in life that could affect your child custody arrangements. Will the court approve your request for modification?
You believe your child is in danger
If your child has become reluctant to visit the home of the other parent, you need to ask some hard questions. Is he being abused at the other home? Have there been episodes of domestic violence? Your son may be reluctant to talk about his private feelings, but if you have strong suspicions that all is not well in the other home, you may need to consider a modification to the child custody agreement.
There are visitation issues
Another reason for petitioning the court for modification is that your spouse is not living up to the terms of the child custody agreement. He is often late in picking your son up and sometimes ignores the visitation schedule completely. Before approving a change, the court will review the original agreement and determine why the terms are no longer being followed.
You wish to relocate
You may be taking a new job with a better salary, but it means relocating. On the other hand, you may wish to move so as to be closer to family members. The judge will want to know the motivation behind your request. If it's that you wish to take your child, you must show that such a move will be advantageous for him. The court will also want to know what your plans are for a revised visitation schedule.
The main concern of the court is always the best interests of the child. For example, a judge will probably not agree to a relocation request if it means uprooting your son from family and friends to live in a place that does not afford him similar housing, education and leisure opportunities. You must be prepared to defend your request for child custody modification. If it is reasonable and will not adversely affect your child, you will probably gain the court’s approval.