If your current custody agreement isn't working for you, you may be wondering about making changes to the custody agreement. However, unless you and your ex-spouse agree to the changes and both agree to modify the agreement, you must go through the courts. Here is some information you should know if you are looking to request a change to your custody agreement.
Reasons Why a Parent May Request a Change of Custody
Generally, for a custody agreement change to be made, it must be shown that there is a change of circumstances. This may mean that you have moved for a job, your child has changed schools and has a different start or stop times, or your child is engaged in extracurricular activities that prevent pick-up at certain times.
Steps to Requesting a Change of Custody
The first step to changing the custody agreement is filling out the correct change of custody form based on your residence venue. After filling it out, it will need to be filed with the courts. After being filed, it must be served on your child's other parent. The courts will then allow the other parent to file a response, and a hearing date will be set.
What the Courts Look for When Making a Decision
When deciding, the courts will look at the change of circumstances and the child's best interests. If your child now has baseball practice on Friday, and your ex can no longer pick them up at 5:00 but can pick them up at 7:00 after practice, a change will likely be granted. On the other hand, if you simply want to change the custody agreement because you prefer to spend Tuesday with her instead of Wednesday, the courts may not disrupt the child's schedule to please you without a valid reason. Ultimately, the judge decides what is reasonable, what has changed in your life, your ex's and your child's lives, and what benefits all parties.
If you want to change a custody agreement, you may want to consult with family law attorneys to help advise you on whether you have valid grounds for requesting the agreement change. Our attorneys at Gerkin & Decker have tremendous experience in family law. If you're looking for trusted divorce lawyers, contact us today!