Can I Change a Child Custody Agreement?

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Monday November 14th, 2022.

Your life can change drastically after a divorce. The circumstances under which you are raising your children can vary considerably. Sometimes, the situation requires a change in the parenting time and child custody agreement set by the court.

To simply answer the above question, yes, the child custody agreement can be changed. It can be requested by one parent or by both parents.

You must know that once the court sets the child custody agreement, it legally bounds the parents to follow that agreement. Hence a change in that agreement should be appropriately done through court.

Requirements for Modifying the Agreements

Child custody modification is easy as long as you have solid evidence to support it. Any drastic change in your life, e.g., a long-distance move due to a job, a permanent change in your job timings, any medical condition, or due to the child’s own preference.

But make sure that the change is in the best interest of the children. 

Steps to Follow

The first step is to fill out a request form for a change in order, along with the reason for the change. If you are modifying the existing order, enter the previous case number and attach essential documents like the child custody application form, school grades, letters from the counselor, etc.

File the application form and the documents to the court, along with paying the fees. The fee is usually paid by the parent requesting the application. Once you get a hearing date, mail a copy of that document to the other parent. 

The main objective during the court should be to explain the reason for changing the timings or custody agreement and how it is best for the children.

In Case of Mutual Agreement from Both Parents

In the case of mutual agreement from both parents, the matter can also be settled without going to court. However, doing that can cause misunderstanding in the future in case one parent decides to back off on the agreement.

Hence, it is best to settle this matter through court, where parents can mutually request the change for custody.

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