While custody arrangements usually have clear cut rules and expectations, life happens. While a custody arrangement may have worked in the past, there are certain times when that arrangement can be changed. Below are three such instances and how you can go about making these changes.
Risk of Physical or Emotional Harm
If you're concerned about the safety of your child when they're in the home of their other parent, you may be able to have the custody arrangement modified.
Your child's safety and well being are of the utmost importance, which is why the courts will take any risk of physical or emotional harm seriously. If you suspect abuse, it's important to discuss your next steps with your attorney. The courts will require evidence of abuse before the arrangement is altered, so it's important to talk with potential witnesses and document any physical or emotional changes in your child. If you stop visits yourself, you could be facing loss of custody, so it's vital that you work with an attorney and follow all required steps. If you suspect your child is in immediate danger, call the police and file a report with the local child welfare authorities.
A Significant Increase in the Child's Age
As children grow, their preference of who to live with will change. This may be enough to get a custody agreement altered.
If your child has aged significantly since the original agreement was written up, you may be able to have that original agreement altered. Perhaps your child has become more settled at one home, or maybe they have more commitments at school and in the community that make living with one parent easier. Whatever the reason, growing up is a valid reason for the agreement to be changed and should be considered as your child ages.
A Dramatic Change in One Parent's Living Arrangements
When the original custody agreement was written up, it's likely that each parent had a set living arrangement that allowed for stability and growth. Unfortunately, living arrangements can change, and this can have an effect on the custody order in place.
If your ex-partners living arrangement has changed suddenly, such as a significant loss in income or moving from a 2-bedroom to a studio apartment, you may be able to argue that your child's best interests are for the custody order to be altered. In cases like this, a temporary change can be done, so as to allow the other parent time to get back on their feet and gain their full rights back.
Child custody arrangements aren't written in stone. To learn more about altering original custody agreements for the best interests of your child, consult with your family law attorney such as Watson Law Firm.