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Why might a child custody agreement be modified?

In Pennsylvania and around the country, child custody matters can be complicated. This is especially true after an agreement has been approved by the court and a parent wants modifications. It is possible to modify the arrangement, but it is important to have reasons for doing so. The court will want to know why it should make the changes.

Reasons why a child custody modification might be needed

The court will focus on the child’s best interests. That will weigh heavily when reasons are presented to modify the arrangement. An obvious problem is if the child is in danger. That frequently involves domestic violence. Another consideration is if a parent is moving away. Relocations are always difficult and if it is a great distance from the other parent, the custody order might be changed to account for that. The court will want to know why the parent is moving, if the child will have significant interruptions and if the parents have discussed solutions regarding custody and visitation.

Some parents do not follow the visitation agreement. The court will assess the situation and decide if it can be worked out. Parents communicating effectively, expressing why they have not followed the schedule and if they have an agreement will all be assessed to decide whether to implement modifications. When a custodial parent dies, changes will obviously be necessary. The non-custodial parent might be given custody or there could be a third party involved. Factors will be the surviving parent’s ability to care for the child, what the child wants, and how far the child will be from other family members.

Being prepared before asking for a custody modification is key

Regardless of why a parent is asking for a child custody modification, it is imperative to be fully prepared beforehand. That includes a list of reasons why the agreement should be changed and knowing how to combat the other parent’s arguments saying it should remain as is. In some cases, an amicable solution is possible.