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When should I modify my custody order?

Custody agreements consider factors such as vacation schedules, holidays, monthly or weekly visitation schedules, as well as details related to children’s education, religious activities, extracurricular activities and even sports, based on everybody’s needs at the time of the divorce.

However, needs can change, so you might consider modifying your custody order. In most states, custody orders can be modified if there’s been a significant “change in circumstances” and if the current arrangement is no longer in the children’s best interests.

If a parent gets a new job that requires relocating, or if a parent has a new work schedule that makes the current arrangement very difficult, that might justify a modification.

A significant change in a child’s schedule, whether for school, important after-school activities, religious school or any number of things that are critical to the child’s development could necessitate a modification.

A modification might also be in order for other reasons, such as the other parent’s home being unstable or unsafe due to drugs, alcohol or violence, or a because of a parent’s incarceration.

If you plan to seek a modification, it’s generally up to you to prove a change in circumstances and to explain why a modification is in the child’s best interests. You will be expected to document all of this

If you think a modification may be in your child’s best interests (and not just in your own best interests), you should contact a family law attorney who is well-versed in custody issues right away.

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