The subject of child custody can be a difficult one to discuss. All parents want time with their kids, and the pragmatic realities of life can add to or subtract from that time.
In a divorce, courts generally make their rulings based on the present. They take the future into account, but they put a strong focus on what’s happening right now.
Therefore, many rulings eventually become irrelevant. Life can change pretty quickly these days. People often make career changes, move to a new place, and make other big changes that are unthinkable to past generations.
Here are some examples of changes that could warrant a modification in your child custody arrangement.
- You Have a Different Schedule
Time is an important part of any child custody agreement. The court wants to see that parents are available and that their schedule accommodates the child’s needs.
Any change to your routine can have a huge impact on that availability. If you are, for instance, suddenly moved to a night shift, you may need less time with the kids. Alternatively, moving to a daytime schedule could allow you to have them more often.
- Your Support System Changes
Most of us know the old proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Many parents have friends or family they can rely on to help with the kids. A divorce can change all that. Friends may “side” with only one spouse, or maybe all the helpful family is related to only one person.
Courts consider your support system, realizing that you are transitioning into being a single parent. If you lose or gain outside help, it’s time to consider whether you should alter your percentage of custody.
- Your Relationship with the Child Changes
Courts factor the closeness of the parent/child relationship into their custody decisions.
Perhaps, at the time of the divorce, you and the children were at odds. Maybe they were angry about the divorce, blaming you and wanting to stay with the other parent. This animosity can fade with love, attention, and time. As you and the child grow closer, you can request a greater degree of custody.
Of course, the opposite can be true as well. Relationships can deteriorate over time, requiring less time with the kids.
- Changes in the Child’s Life
It can be difficult to remember that children have full lives outside of the family, especially as they age. Teens, in particular, develop more interests and activities that take up more of their time.
Such changes may require less or more time with a certain parent, depending on the situation. The child may have academic or extracurricular demands, and they simply cannot balance going from one place to the other.
Get All Your Changes in Writing
Parents are free to make any changes they wish to their parenting plan. It’s important, however, to always make these changes official. Otherwise, one parent could easily accuse the other of breaking an agreement, causing all manner of legal woes. A skilled attorney can help make sure all your changes go through the proper channels, protecting all family members involved.
Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. is here to help with child custody modifications. If it’s time to review and change your original parenting plan, contact us online or call us now at (904) 701-0591.