At the time of your divorce, you and your former spouse put together a child custody agreement that has worked and satisfied you both for the most part. Now you want to modify that agreement. Do you have a valid reason? What will the court decide?
You and the other parent have adhered to the child custody agreement you put in place as part of your divorce proceeding four years ago. However, you have taken on different work responsibilities. Your new schedule conflicts with the current visitation schedule, which prompted the modification request. Also, if management is happy with the way you perform your new tasks, your boss may recommend you for a new position with better pay—but it would mean a move out of state, which would disrupt the visitation schedule altogether.
The court’s view
The court is unlikely to modify a child custody agreement unless there has been a substantial change in the life of one of those involved, or if the wellbeing or safety of the child is compromised in some way. The court will always weigh the best interests of the child in making a decision. The judge may not agree that adjusting the current visitation schedule requires the modification of your agreement. However, if you receive a new job out of state, the matter of relocation and the effect on your child would be significant. At that time, a return to court would be in order.
Working it out
When changes happen and you think about modifying your child custody agreement, you should first try to work the situation out with the other parent. If the current plan is working on most fronts, perhaps you can compromise on the area that needs adjustment. If you do go to court, remember that the judge will always prioritize the need a child has for stability and for frequent contact with both parents. Those considerations should always be at the forefront of your mind as well.