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3 signs that it’s time to modify a custody order

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Child Custody |

The terms of a custody order have a major impact on many families’ schedules. They can also affect the relationships that parents have with their children. Obviously, the more time each parent gets to spend with their children, the more they can nurture the bond they share with them.

It is common for parents to seek out relatively even divisions of parental authority and parenting time if they litigate custody matters or negotiate directly with one another. Sometimes, parents end up taking custody matters back to family court because the custody order no longer only meets the needs of the family. The following are some of the indicators that parents may need to modify or adjust a custody order.

Frequent scheduling changes

One of the most common reasons for people to modify a custody order is a change in family schedules. Whether a parent takes on a new job or the children start participating in sports, changes to the family schedule can potentially force families to make repeat adjustments to their current parenting schedules. Each one-time adjustment could lead to disputes between the parents. Therefore, when adults need to regularly adjust their custody plans, that can be an indicator that a formal custody modification might be a smart choice.

An improvement in circumstances

Maybe a parent previously had to live with friends or family and did not have the space to have the children overnight. Perhaps lack of employment or issues with substance abuse led to a highly-unbalanced custody arrangement. People can seek modifications to increase their allocation of parenting time when they have improved their circumstances. Obtaining a new job, securing a place to live or undergoing treatment are all examples of positive changes that might justify a custody modification.

Concern about the children’s well-being

Sometimes, the changes that occur in a shared custody arrangement are negative. One parent may notice that the children come home dirty or unfed from the other parent’s home. They might even have injuries caused by inappropriate discipline. In scenarios where one parent believes that the other has failed to meet the children’s needs or has exposed them to abuse or neglect, it may be possible to go back to court and change the custody arrangements for the protection of the children.

Parents can cooperate with each other if they agree on how to adjust their custody arrangement. They can also go back to family court for a contested custody modification if they have evidence of substantial changes and reason to believe their proposed modifications are in the best interests of the children. Parents who understand when they can adjust custody orders can more confidently take necessary steps for the health and happiness of their children.

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