“X” Reasons You May Need to Modify Child Custody

Child custody is a bitter battle for many. Moreover, there are not many situations in which the alteration of a child custody agreement is one that is simple and streamlined. These truths usually stem from the fact that both parents want to play major roles in the lives of their children – and understandably so. Despite the good-natured attempts of some of these parents, this is not always in the best interest of the child. A number of different types of factors can play into this and may be brought forth by either parent or even the child. 

Why a Parent May Need to Modify Child Custody 

Parents seldom make changes to child custody after the initial agreement they had come to in the courts. Usually, a set list of circumstances decides how the child will live their upbringing when the spouses first divorce. This is common practice and oftentimes involves a lot of logistics that include wages, standards of living, geographical location of homes and schools, and much more. 

Child custody agreements take many forms. They may include a long list of rules that each parent or guardian must adhere to, including paying child support, making sure each parent sees the child for a sufficient amount of time, and that both parents live within a certain state or city. While restricting, the terms to these agreements are what allow each parent to be involved in the life of their child. 

However, after a certain amount of time, it is not all too uncommon that some of these circumstances change. As is with life, sometimes the unexpected happens, or there is a desire to change pace. While completely normal, this may lead to a violation or complication of a child custody agreement. There are a plethora of reasons that there may need to be a modification of a child custody agreement – a change that usually comes about when it is in the best interest of the child.

1. Maltreatment of the Child 

An obvious but often overlooked reason that there may be a change to a child custody agreement is a maltreatment of the child. Physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional abuse are all valid reasons to switch up a child custody agreement and remove the child from the situation. This is often done with the help of authorities and, if convicted, will usually lead someone to lose all visitation rights with their children. With four million American children being reported for abuse every year – and many of them suffering under a divorced parent – this situation is far from far-fetched. 

2. A Parent Desires to Move Away 

Adults move all the time. The 21st century has proven that individuals have a great amount of autonomy in their day-to-day lives, including ever-growing ease to simply pack up and move when they desire. Whether climate, job, or school-related, it comes as no surprise that the average American moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. For obvious reasons, divorced parents are no exception to this statistic. It is sometimes the case that a parent moving away (that wants to take or leave their child) will lead to an altercation regarding their child custody agreement.

3. One of the Guardians Loses Their Job

With many American families losing their sources of income over the course of the last couple of years, it must be recognized that the loss of a job can have devastating impacts on someone’s livelihood. It is obvious that a child is in need of proper financial support, but that does not take away from the fact that losing custody to the unexpected loss of a job is unfortunate and a reality for many. It is usually the duty of a divorced couple to provide a similar lifestyle to the child, in addition to paying child support fees and providing basic necessities. This may not be possible after the loss of a job. 

4. The Wants or Needs of the Child Change

In some cases, the personal emotional state of a child is enough to call for a custody agreement change. The changing conditions of a child’s life may lead them to find it preferable to live with one parent or another. Maybe they prefer the school system that their father is in or may have more relatives near their mom’s house that are able to take care of them when their parents are at work. In most cases, it is generally applicable that children have a decent degree of sway in the courts. This is especially true the older the child is, as they are seen to have matured and gained a greater sense of autonomy in their decision-making. 

5. A Refusal by One of the Parents to Follow the Agreement 

An obvious violation of court order and common law, the noncompliance of a parent in regard to their child custody agreement can land them in legal trouble. This is a major issue as this is known to have led to kidnappings and the endangerment of the child. At this point, police, the courts, and lawyers are all key players when it comes to renegotiating custody rights. This can inevitably land the offending parent without any rights as it comes to the upbringing of their child or their own personal freedom. 

The Potential Pros and Cons of Modifying a Child Custody Agreement

As previously reviewed, there are innumerable amount of reasons that child custody terms may need to be reviewed. Whether it be as simple as a child deciding to reside around their school system full time to take advantage of extracurriculars or the illegal violation of an agreement by one of the parents, a change to a custody agreement can come in all shapes and sizes. 

It must be affirmed that a child custody modification must come at the benefit of the child/children in question. Most attempts to change a child custody agreement do come with good intentions, yet there are still those who try to abuse the system for their own selfish gains. Should someone be met with such an act, it is important to realize the dangers that it may present to the child if they are incapable of taking care of them. This furthermore must be proven in a court of law by a competent legal team. 

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