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Seeking modifications to child custody

Various studies show that children thrive best when they have positive relationships with both parents. After a divorce, maintaining these strong relationships may become tricky for the noncustodial parent; however, it is not impossible.

To gain more quality time with a child, a modification to the custody agreement may be appropriate. When seeking a modification, there are a few things to consider.

Expedited modifications

In most cases, the law requires that a custody agreement must be in place for a set period before a parent may request a modification. However, there are a few instances where this may not apply. Particularly, it usually happens when the petitioning parent can show that the child is in immediate danger. This may include signs of physical abuse, or the death of the primary parent. The court reviews the evidence and may make a permanent or temporary modification.

Common terms

Outside of emergencies, obtaining modifications is not usually a quick or easy process. The courts strive to operate in the best interest of the child, so a parent must show a significant change in circumstances for the court to consider a modification. Some of the common terms that may lead to a modification include the following:

  • Relocation of a primary parent
  • Entering school or another significant life change for the child
  • The child's education begins to fail
  • A parent is not fully complying with the existing order

These are just a few of the possible reasons for a successful modification request. It may be helpful to fully review the law to see if a modification may be plausible in a given situation.

Mediation

Though the court does strive to operate in the best interest of the child, if the parents can figure it out with minimal involvement from the court, that is usually the best scenario. To accomplish this, seeking mediation may be helpful.

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