With child custody arrangements, the assumption is that a court’s judgment is never final. As children grow, their needs and best interest changes. For instance, an agreement that worked for a toddler may need adjustment when the child starts school. Other life changes like relocation and remarriage can occur, and the law considers all of these factors.
Parents can modify a child custody agreement to suit any new arrangement or situation in the family. If you’re looking to change a custody agreement, you need the counsel of a legal expert. You can contact and schedule a consultation with child custody lawyers in Media PA.
When Can I Modify Custody Arrangements?
Although Pennsylvania law allows for modification of a child custody order, parents can’t do so on a whim. They’ll have to show that there’s a “substantial change in circumstance” to warrant a modification.
This requirement prevents repetitive requests for modification and encourages stability of custody arrangements. Here are some acceptable reasons for modifying a custody arrangement.
Child’s Best Interest
The child may find it difficult to adjust to living in two separate households. For instance, if commuting from one home to another is stressful, assignments always get missing, or their grades have dropped. The court is likely to modify your current arrangement to offer the child more stability.
A job offer in a different city may be a chance for a parent to upgrade their career. But it can put a strain on the child-parent relationship. If you’re moving to a location where you’ll be far from the other parent, you may need to modify your current arrangement.
Danger to the Child
You may feel that your child is in danger from your co-parent’s new drug habit or their live-in partner who’s abusive. The court will agree to a modification if the current custody arrangement puts your child in danger.
Inability to Meet a Child’s Needs
Balancing parenting and a full-time job may be challenging, especially if you have sole custody. Your child may end up spending more time in daycare than they should. Modifying the custody order to fit your co-parent into the schedule may benefit the child.
When One Parent Isn’t Cooperating with the Existing Schedule
For instance, a situation where you share joint custody, and the other parent refuses to meet up with their end of the agreement.
When One Parent Passes Away
If your co-parent passes away and you don’t want his spouse or family to raise your child.
How Can I Modify Child Custody Agreement?
Through Mutual Agreement
The best option is to discuss your desire with your co-parent if you’re in an amicable relationship. You can negotiate and agree on the terms with the help of mediators and child custody lawyers in Media, PA. Then, submit your proposal to a judge for approval.
Through a Court Order
If you can’t discuss with your co-parent for some reason, or you both can’t agree, you’ll have to file a court petition. You’ll have to provide the court with a good reason to modify the current arrangement. They’ll first consider the child’s best interest and other custody factors before reaching a decision.
Modifying a child custody arrangement may be as challenging as when you were deciding on the initial custody order. Nonetheless, with the best child custody lawyers in Media, PA, the process can be easier on your side.