When to Modify Your Custody Agreement
Change isn’t easy--especially when children are involved. Children need security to grow and develop, but sometimes that security is shaken. When parents divorce, children can experience mild insecurity, or they can experience major insecurity that threatens healthy growth. There are times when modifying a custodial agreement is necessary because of this need for a stable environment.
The custodial parent, the parent awarded primary custody, spends the most time and energy on the children. This parent sees to the child’s physical and emotional needs. The custodial parent decides on the school the child attends, diet/nutritional needs, bedtime routine, extracurricular activities, etc.There are times when this parent is no longer able to care for the child or children in the same manner and modification in the custodial agreement becomes necessary. Sometimes work schedules or shifts can be the impetus for a visit to court to modify the custodial agreement: A parent might need to move for work; a military parent might be deployed. Other times, the custodial parent is no longer caring for the children in a way that keeps them stable and safe: A once perfectly capable parent might suffer health issues that hinder the proper daily care a child needs; a parent might become emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive towards the child or children; a parent might suffer from drug or alcohol addiction; a parent might remarry and the child could be exposed to any of the above dangers. Either way, changes must be made in court. The court is always trying to find what is in the best interest of the child, and all changes must be made legally.
If you believe your child custody agreement needs modification, research the laws in your state and get an idea of the process. Then, contact an attorney and build your case. Change is not easy on children, but when the change ultimately is in the best interest of the child, time, energy, emotions, and money are worth a positive, healthy result.