A custody plan can provide invaluable support as you and your ex navigate the tricky world of co-parenting. However, when circumstances challenge the efficiency of your plan, you may need to petition the court for a modification.
Understanding under what conditions the courts may approve your modification can help you prepare your petition. When you take into account all of the variables, your quest to acquire a modification may appear more realistic and justifiable to the court.
Your child’s best interest
Regardless of your reasons for wanting a modification, if the courts do not feel a change would support the best interests of your child, a modification is unlikely. According to the Washington State Legislature, some of the reasons for approval of a modification include when your child has integrated into your new, blended family and schedules or obligations have complicated the former arrangement. With the approval of your ex and a mutual agreement that your child would benefit from this new plan, you may proceed with requesting a modification.
Other conditions that could impact whether or not you can effectively petition the courts for a modification include the following:
- Your child’s life is in danger
- You or your ex need to relocate
- Changes to you or your ex’s military obligations
- Your ex has repeatedly failed to abide by the former agreement
The value of consistency
Constantly vying to change your custody arrangement could reflect poorly on your reputation and your credibility as a parent. Your child needs the consistency of a structured routine following your divorce and constantly changing your custody schedule could create anxiety and frustration for everyone.
Depending on the age of your child, you may consider his or her input before you petition the court for a custody change. The more research and effort you put into your description of the benefits of a change, the more successful your petition will be.