The child custody order you receive as part of your divorce settlement depends on the best interests of your children at the time of the divorce. As time passes, things change and your parenting plan needs to change accordingly.
There are a number of reasons to petition the court for child custody modifications.
Did one parent move out of the area?
If one parent moved, especially for work, the custody agreement may need modifications. You might have to account for travel time and expenses, changing visitation schedules and potentially working around school vacations for custody changes.
Are the children becoming more independent?
As your children get older, they naturally become more independent. Kids get their driver’s licenses, vehicles and a larger group of friends. This can interfere with the routine and may necessitate a change in the schedule to accommodate jobs, transportation changes and even school sports or other extracurricular activities.
Does your child wish to live with the other parent?
Sometimes a custody order modification comes because the child is old enough to express their preferences and wishes to live with the other parent. In most cases, pre-teens and teens can express their preferences and, if it suits the parents, can result in a change of custody.
These are a few of the most common reasons for a modification of child custody orders. There are other situations that may necessitate such a change as well. Understanding these situations can help you determine if it is the right time to petition the court in your case.