When parents divorce, a custody schedule may determine where a child lives and how much access or visitation rights each parent has – but custody schedules don’t always reflect the changing needs of the child.
A custody schedule often needs to be altered over time. Here are a few reasons a court may allow a custody and visitation agreement to be changed:
One parent is moving
Moving as a family isn’t as easy after a divorce. One parent may wish to move because of a job opportunity or new scenery while the other parent wishes to stay where they are. When you or your child’s other parent wants to move, the custody schedule may need to be renegotiated. This may mean the parent who moves will take their children with them. This may only happen if the court believes that a parent’s move would strain a child’s best interests.
You or the other parent have agreed to a change
It’s often hard to keep to the same custody schedule over the years. A parent may have a career change that makes it harder for them to visit their children during previously negotiated hours. Or, a child may have a different school schedule that overlaps with another parent’s visitation time. Parents who agree that a custody schedule needs altered can often do so.
You need to protect your children
Unfortunately, a custody schedule may need to be altered because a child’s safety is at risk. This can happen if a parent or new partner becomes abusive toward their children and the other parent wishes to take on more custody rights. A court often has to consider whether a parent’s actions do entitle the other parent to more custody rights.
Your children’s needs have changed
Many children have special needs. A custody schedule may need to be altered if a child develops a disability or medical condition that makes it harder for the child to transition from one household to the next.
Are you considering seeking an altered child custody schedule? It could help to reach out for legal guidance to understand your options.