Your child custody order is created when you get divorced. The court cannot possibly predict what the future is going to look like, so they simply make the order in a way that fits your current lifestyle.
Naturally, this may not work long-term. If you’re a young parent with a one-year-old, you still have 17 years until that child is a legal adult. Even if your children are older, you can still be looking at years or even decades of having to adhere to those custody orders. Life can change a lot, and there are some reasons you may want to consider asking the court for a modification. Below are a few examples.
You’re moving long distance
The court may have to sign off on a long-distance move, especially if your ex objects to it. The problem is that it can make it impossible for your ex to actually see the children if you take them with you. Long-distance moves are sometimes allowed in cases where people are taking another job, moving closer to family members or going back to school.
Your work changes
It is also unlikely that you’re going to do the exact same job on the exact same schedule for the next two decades. If your work changes, you may need to shift custody around so that you can actually be with the children. This is especially true if you have a demanding job with non-standard hours or where you have to travel frequently.
Health changes occur
There are two ways in which health changes can alter the child custody situation. The first is if one of the parents loses the ability to provide safe and healthy care. This can happen if the parent suffers an injury, for example, and can no longer lift a young child.
The child’s own health changes can also make it so that a new custody arrangement is needed. If the child is dealing with a disability, a long-term illness or something of this nature, it may work better for them to have a schedule that has been set up specifically to meet their needs.
Making the modification
It’s always important to make this modification officially, through the court. You never want to do it yourself or ignore a standing court order. Be sure you know what legal steps to take.