Once your child custody order is finalized, you probably think that you are done with this type of battle. The fact of the matter is that there are some circumstances that will lead you back into the legal arena.
Child custody modifications are a way that the court can address the changing needs of children. These changes can include almost every aspect of life, so it is important for the child custody order to accurately address these changes.
Why would the order need to change as the child ages?
Parents who divorce when their children are young shouldn't expect that a custody agreement from infancy or toddlerhood will still be appropriate for a teen. Some parents are able to work through these age-based changes fairly easily, but this isn't the case for all parents.
If you and your ex find that a rigid custody schedule isn't working because of your child's extracurricular activities or other similar reasons, you might need to look into a child custody modification. You might also find that the schedule that was necessary when the child was younger isn't working any longer and that more flexibility is needed so that your child can thrive and learn to make choices.
How can we obtain a child custody modification?
Many parents choose to work out an agreement together so that they don't have to go through a new trial. The process is much like what you went through initially.
The process for the modification is typically shorter when you and your ex can work out the terms. This means that you can start helping your child get accustomed to the new way of doing things much sooner, which might bring more stability to his or her life.
As is the case in all child custody cases, make sure that you keep matters between you and your ex. Don't try to use your child as a messenger to relay messages back and forth between parents.
Are child support modifications part of this process?
You can seek out a child support modification. The circumstances must meet certain criteria. For example, a child support modification is possible if there is a significant change in the paying parent's income or in the amount of time that the child spends with the paying parent. Remember, modifications go both ways so it is possible for the amount to go up or down depending on the circumstances.