Courts base their divorce rulings on what’s happening at the moment. They do attempt to plan for the future, but life is always unpredictable. As things change, any arrangement you make could become irrelevant.
This is often the case with child custody arrangements. Kids grow, and parents move on with their lives. At some point, your original parenting plan may simply be irrelevant.
Fortunately, you have the option to change any divorce ruling as needed. You can make a new agreement with your spouse and submit it to the courts. When that fails, you can plead to the courts for a modification.
Here are some of the main reasons to alter your original child custody order.
- Either Parent Moves
Distance is one of the most influential factors in any custody agreement. A distance as small as 10 miles apart can have a huge impact on daily life. It may be impossible for one parent to help with school, healthcare, and more.
Whether you are moving further or closer to the other parent, this will significantly change your ability to co-parent. A closer distance may make it easier to see the kids more often. A further distance may require you to see the kids far less.
- Relationship Changes
Kids develop so quickly, it’s almost as if they constantly become different people. Remember, divorce is hard on every member of the family, and it often puts a strain on parent/child relationships.
Child custody is based on the child’s best interests. If a child is having a difficult time connecting to a parent, it may be necessary to limit their time with that parent. As the relationship mends, however, they may want more time with this parent, requiring a modification.
Alternatively, children become more independent as they grow. Perhaps they have no quarrel with either parent, but they simply need more time in a single location to pursue their interests. A situation like this may call for a restructuring of the original parenting plan.
- A Remarriage
Adding a new person to your life changes everything. It can give a single parent a larger network of adults who can help, which allows them to have the kids more often. Oppositely, a remarriage could also cause someone to need more alone time with their new spouse, demanding less time with the kids.
- Job Changes
It’s easy to underestimate how much a job change impacts the rest of your life. For instance, many people who transition from office work to working from home are surprised by their lack of free time. Changes in your commute can also affect your schedule and energy level.
Even if you stay at the same company, the smallest change to your schedule can impact everything else. Just an hour change here or there upends your normal flow.
Changes in income are also hugely relevant to child custody. Making more or less money directly impacts the length of time you can spend with the children.
When your schedule or job changes on a semi-permanent basis, it’s unrealistic to assume you can keep the rest of your life the same. This is another reason to revisit your initial parenting plan.
Our firm can help you negotiate or plead for a child custody alteration. If you need help, you can schedule time with us online or call us at (410) 593-0040.