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When is it time to change a custody and visitation order?

A custody and visitation order is an essential part of your family life after a separation or divorce. The matter is challenging and delicate. Finalizing the agreement was no easy feat: It took time, serious consideration and compromise from both you and the other parent.

Months or years down the road, you will likely need to adjust any custody arrangements. Just has life is always changing, so are your relationships with your children.

 

Reasons to modify a custody and visitation order

Child custody and child support is never a done deal. These agreements are commonly revisited. Reasons for modifying the order depends on circumstance. Two basic situations are:

  1. You or the other parent violates a court order.
  2. One or both of you alleges changed circumstances.

Other common reasons for changing a custody order revolve around the child's best interests. A few examples of significantly changed circumstances include:

  • Your child struggles to adjust to two separate households. The back and forth interrupts their way of life; like school, sports and friendships. You and the other parent might consider a different living arrangement.
  • You or the other parent is offered a job in another state and decides to move. The court considers custody modifications if either of you relocate somewhere far away.
  • Your ex-spouse is not following the visitation schedule. This means they are breaking the arrangement you both agreed upon. The court will consider modification if either parent is not cooperating.

Next steps to changing a custody and visitation order

After careful evaluation, you conclude that it is time: Where should you begin?

  1. Discuss with your ex-spouse: Your first step should be to consult with the other parent and see if you are both on the same page. Communicate what you would like to change. The custody arrangement process is easier if you both agree on a solution. If neither of you can agree, you will have to go back to court.
  2. Find an attorney: Custody and visitation can be an emotionally-charged discussion. The other parent might not want to modify anything, despite the circumstance. For the best interest of you and your family, it may be wise to seek legal counsel. Quinn Law Firm offers invaluable experience in family law. Contact us today at 814-833-2222.

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