Many parents are happy with being the noncustodial parent and getting to spend every other weekend with their children. Other parents are unsatisfied with these arrangements and would prefer to share physical custody of their child, meaning that their child would live with them part of the time and essentially have two homes. However, once the judge has made the decision, is there any way that you can modify your court orders to become the custodial parent?
Here are two example scenarios under which this could potentially occur:
The other wants to change custody arrangements: Parents are often able to reach an out-of-court agreement regarding how they wish to change their child custody arrangements. Although a family court judge will need to review and approve of these changes, they are much more likely to happen when both parents can come to a mutually agreeable arrangement regarding the modification.
A significant change in employment schedules: Changing employment schedules can wreak havoc on existing custody arrangements. For example, if the custodial parent is in the military reserves and gets called to active duty, he or she will not be able to remain the child’s primary caretaker. Similarly, if the custodial parent becomes a firefighter or a 24-hour nurse with an odd schedule, child custody arrangements may need to be adjusted in response.
There are many other scenarios that might require a court to change your child custody arrangements. If you’re unsatisfied with your current child custody arrangements, you might be able to get the modification your desire. However, it’s vital that you approach your modification request carefully and strategically to increase your likelihood of success.
Source: The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky, “Child Custody and Visitation,” accessed Feb. 23, 2018