There are certain times when it makes sense to modify your custody schedule. Even if you have a schedule that has been well-established over time, you should keep in mind that this schedule might need to change as your children grow and change. You might also need to adjust the schedule to reflect changes in your career or in the time your ex-spouse has to spend with your children.
Most of the time, the court will want to see a good reason for requesting a modification to a custody schedule. You might not be sure if you want to seek a modification, but if your current schedule isn’t working well for you and changes are needed, it’s better to seek a modification than to make those changes without involving the court. That way, you will have documentation that supports the new schedule (and that can be enforced).
When should you seek to modify a child custody schedule?
There are a few times when it makes sense to modify a custody schedule. The first is if your child’s life is in danger. For example, if there is a dangerous pet in the other home that your ex won’t get rid of or you believe that domestic violence is taking place, then it’s important to take steps to change the custody schedule. If danger is immediate or your child is refusing visitation, it’s smart to reach out to your attorney before limiting further custody time with the other parent.
Another good reason to modify custody would be if you or the other parent needs to relocate. Depending on what’s best for your child, you may need to adjust the schedule to suit new living arrangements or time with the parent who will have primary custody.
Finally, if your work or responsibilities are making it hard to stick to your custody schedule, it may be time to adjust it.
You and the other parent should try to come to an agreement on your own. If you cannot, then it’s appropriate to ask the court for a hearing to discuss your custody modification request.