Modification of Custody/Relocation for Child/Children: A Brief Guide

 

When either parent cannot come to an agreement on where their child or children will live, they may need to figure out living arrangements for the child or children in question. Part of figuring out these new living arrangements includes figuring out custody arrangements for the child or children. In situations like these, both parents need to negotiate or handle the modification of custody or relocation for their child or children. When deciding the modification of custody or relocation for children or a child, both parents need to come to an agreement about who will have custody of the child/children and where they may live. The modification of custody or relocation agreement can essentially change how a child custody arrangement is handled, making it an important step for both parties to review.  

What does a custody and visitation agreement address?

A child custody and visitation agreement between both parents address several issues that may arise following a separation. It decides who handles childcare on specific days, as well as the management of the upbringing of the child/children. One party generally maintains sole custody or control over the child’s upbringing, while the other party maintains visitation rights.

Some agreements allow both parents to maintain equal custody over the child or children. This agreement generally requires both parties to come to an agreement about how to manage their child rearing, including allowing the children or child to live between both households.

When child custody and visitation agreement is settled, both parents are required to follow the established agreement. If both parties wish to modify the terms of the agreement, they are permitted to do so after an allotted waiting period depending on the jurisdictions where they may reside.

Modifying the terms of child custody and visitation

The modification of custody or relocation for parents can usually be modified if the courts determine that specific factors were not met in the original agreement. These factors include:

If the needs and interests of the child or children are no longer being met by the original agreement between parties. For example, if the emotional or developmental needs of the child have changed, the parents may need to modify their original agreement to address those needs.

If there has been a significant change in either personal or material circumstances since the establishment of the current agreement. For example, the modification of custody or relocation agreement may be necessary if one parent has maintained an unsafe living environment for the child or children.

Before determining to perform the modification of custody or relocation agreement, the courts will review all the known information about the current agreement and circumstances between both parties. If the courts find there is a need to perform the modification to the agreement, the agreement will be changed according to the new terms. Either parent who wishes to make a modification of custody or relocation agreements should consult their attorney to learn more about what they need to do to prepare for their case.

 

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