Do you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse? Are you looking to modify the custody order so you can spend more time with your kids? The good news is it is possible to modify a child custody order. In fact, some families modify their orders several times as the children grow and their needs change. The bad news is that it can be difficult to modify the order, especially if your ex-spouse resists the change. A child custody attorney can help you modify your order. Below are a few tips to consider as you start the process.
Communicate with your ex-spouse. By far, the easiest way to modify a child custody order is for both parents to agree to the change. It is rare for a court to reject a change in which both parents agree. Start by talking to your ex-spouse. Stay calm and focused on the primary objective. If you and your ex-spouse have a contentious relationship, it's important to set feelings aside for this conversation and stick to the facts. Be open with him or her about why you want the change and why you think it will benefit the kids and even the other parent. Maybe it will take some childcare burdens off their plate. Perhaps it will help them financially. Emphasize why the change benefits everyone and see if they're open to it.
Document everything. If your ex-spouse is not open to the change, you will need to take the issue to court. The judge will not change the order based on your testimony. You need documentation to show that there has been a change in either the child's situation or yours to justify the modification. For example, maybe the other spouse has moved and the new home has made your child's life more inconvenient. Maybe your situation has improved. Perhaps you've gotten a better job, moved into a bigger home, or even been sober for an extended period. These are all material changes. You need documentation to show that the situations have changed. This can include testimony from the child, healthcare providers, teachers, and more. A child custody attorney can help you gather evidence.
Be involved. Many courts will not approve a child custody modification in your favor if you're not involved at the present time. Even if you don't have custody often, find other ways to be involved. Attend your child's sporting events or other extracurriculars. Offer to babysit or give the child rides to activities. Attend parent-teacher conferences and other important meetings. Show that you are an active, interested parent who deserves more time with the child.
Ready to change your custody agreement? Contact a child custody attorney in your area today to start the conversation.Share