If you and your spouse came up with a custody plan that works for you, it might be disruptive if they suddenly want to change it. While many of the changes that people want to make might not be warranted, modifications for purposes such as moving or letting your child go to a new school may be necessary.
If you and your ex-spouse are able, one of the things you can do is to sit down and discuss a new custody plan. Together, you may realize that the current plan is not working or that your child’s needs are outgrowing it. If that’s the case, then you may want to look into working out a temporary plan. With your new plan, you can make the changes that are needed in the short term, but you should also reach out to your attorney to seek a modification in court, so that the changes are legally binding.
When might you need to modify your custody schedule?
You may need to modify your custody schedule in a few situations, such as if:
- Your child has a new school schedule
- You or your former spouse get a new job or different hours at your current job
- Your child has asked for a modification and is of age to do so
- You want to seek a modification to move with your child
There are many situations in which a custody modification may be justified. These are only a few. Just remember that most judges want to see a real need for the modification, not a request just because you’re unhappy with your current custody time or because of minor issues you’d like to address.
What can you do if you can’t agree on a new custody schedule?
If you and your ex-spouse can agree on a new schedule, it’s fairly easy to submit that to the court and to seek approval. In the case that you are unable to agree, things may become a little more difficult.
When you can’t agree, you can do one of a few things. You can try mediation or arbitration. You could try to negotiate with the support of your attorneys. Finally, you can turn to the court for assistance and ask for the judge to decide if the changes are warranted.
In the end, a modification may be necessary. If you decide to negotiate or go to court, make sure you have documents to show why the modification is in your child’s best interests.