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Reasons to Change Child Custody

If you’re a parent on the road to divorce, you will have to include provisions for child custody in your divorce agreement. As you create a child custody schedule, you may not realize it but whatever you put down will not necessarily be set in stone until your child’s 18th birthday. In other words, child custody orders are open-ended and the courts view them as orders that are subject to change.

In fact, it’s common for parents to go back to court not once, but multiple times to change their child custody orders. Why is this? Because the children’s needs and desires change and the parents’ lives change as well. Things like job changes, relocations, remarriages, and family illnesses can all give rise to a child custody modification, but there are many other reasons why a child custody order may need to be changed, such as:

  • The custodial parent develops a substance abuse problem
  • The custodial parent develops a severe mental illness
  • The custodial parent is sentenced to jail or prison
  • The custodial parent is physically, mentally, or sexually abusive toward the child
  • The child becomes a teenager and wishes to move in with the noncustodial parent
  • The custodial parent wants to move far away and the child doesn’t want to leave the other parent, extended family, friends, and their school
  • The custodial parent is guilty of parental alienation and is blocking the other parent from seeing their child during their court-ordered parenting time

Child Support Can Change Too

If you are the noncustodial parent and you want your son or daughter to move in with you, please understand that child support should probably be changed too. After all, if your child is living with you most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to pay the other parent child support. However, you can’t simply stop paying child support if your child moves in with you. It will continue to accrue until the court decides to change it. So, to get it changes you must go back to court.

Even though parents can make verbal agreements to change child custody or child support, they are not legally-enforceable until a judge signs off on such a change. If you need to change custody and possibly child support, we urge you to contact Masella Law Firm, P.A. to ensure it is handled correctly through the family court system.