Divorce can be a complicated process for both parents and any children involved. Children deserve the emotional and financial support of both their mother and father, even when parents agree to separate. During a divorce, the judge presiding over the case may take all factors into consideration when deciding whether sole custody or joint custody is ideal for the children.

Yet even after the custody arrangement in the final divorce decree, the decision is not set in stone. While the original custody arrangement may have worked for both parents at the time it was set, life changes may make the schedule unrealistic. There are times when it may be best to go back and revisit the custody situation and make changes if necessary.

What is child custody modification?

A change in circumstances involved in the custody arrangement may cause a parent to file for child custody modification. In some cases, both parents may agree on the modified arrangement. Other situations, however, may require the discretion of a court-appointed judge to determine what works better for the children.

Factors leading to modification

There are several situations that may necessitate a child custody modification:

  • A parent moves a significant distance away making it hard to keep the current visitation
  • A parent becomes violent or puts the child in danger by making bad decisions
  • A parent becomes incarcerated
  • A parent develops a serious medical condition and is unable to care for the children
  • A parent loses his or her job, affecting the ability to care for the child

As children grow, their schedules may include more activities, such as friends, parties, after-school activities and sports. This could interfere with the original custody arrangement as well.

Before filing a child custody modification claim, you should consider what is better for your children. Keep in mind that children who spend a significant amount of time with both parents may have benefits over children who do not.