The 3 Considerations To Make A Change In Custody Rules

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You likely fought long and hard with DC divorce lawyers to hammer out a custody deal that was going to work in the interests of your child. Life changes, however, and sometimes what was best before is no longer the case. There are times when a custody agreement has to be amended.

It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are if you need to change what had already been agreed upon. Luckily, there are ways to have it amended. You just need to know how to proceed so you can make sure that the changes are what will be best for everybody involved.

1 – What are you asking to change?

The changes you will need are going to be a major factor in getting the court or your ex to agree to them. There are minor and major changes and the court is the one who will decide which category your request falls under. 

Think about what it is that you’re asking for to be able to determine if this is going to be something that is easy to adjust or amend. For instance, a major change would be how you divide the week. You may suddenly not be able to take the child on the weekends as the agreement originally mandated. 

A minor change is something that is temporary or doesn’t change the overall nature of the agreement. Maybe you are not available for one weekend this month, for instance.  It could also be permanent but doesn’t cause you and your ex to have to upend your lives. Changing the pickup location is an example of a minor change.

In essence, a major change is difficult because the other party will also need to be able to accommodate the change. Not only that, but the change shouldn’t be a disruption to the life of the child, either. 

2 – When the court needs to get involved

There are times when the court doesn’t have to get involved in the decision to change the agreement. Both parties can reach an agreement together that will work for them and the child in a civilized manner. 

There are times when you can both agree, but you still may want to have the court get involved anyway to make sure that there is no way that the change can be used against you. This could backfire, however, so only do this if you have a history with your ex that has exhibited this type of behavior. 

If a change is contested, then this will need to go before a judge to determine if you have a good reason to make the change. 

3 – What’s best for the child?

Before making any decisions, think about what the child needs. It’s understood that life can change and you’ll need to be able to make some changes. However, a judge is going to want to consider how the changes will affect the upbringing of the child. Think of some ways that you can change the agreement in a way that will least affect your child and the judge will likely agree with you.

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