Can I Change a Child Custody Agreement?

Child Custody

Very few things last forever, even legal agreements. When a divorce court makes a decision, that ruling reflects the current situation of each spouse. As life changes, there may be a need to revisit that original ruling and modify it.

Luckily, this is an option for people. Divorcees can modify any family court judgment, even a child custody order.

In this article, we will broadly discuss the issue of child custody alterations.

How to Modify a Child Custody Order

Divorced couples can change parts of their original court order. They can simply work out new details, write them down, and submit them to the courts. If you go this route, you should run your new agreement by an attorney first. They can help make sure your phrasing is solid and won’t be misinterpreted. They can also help find and correct crucial mistakes or things you missed.

Many people find it hard to make amicable agreements with their ex. There are many reasons they got divorced, and poor communication could be one of them. For former couples who need help negotiating, we recommend mediation. In this process, an attorney works with both spouses to help reach a beneficial conclusion for all.

When negotiation is not an option, you must take the matter back to court. Doing so means building a case with your attorney. You must prove that modifying the original child custody order is not only justified, but it is also necessary. You must show that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances has occurred in order to modify a prior Judgment. Remember, courts will always act in a child’s best interests, so make sure your arguments help explain why changing custody is best for the kids.

Reasons to Change a Child Custody Order

Any aspect of your life could influence your ability to keep and care for the children. Here are just some justifiable reasons to modify your child custody.


Whether you move closer or further from the primary custodian, this will have a huge impact on your parenting. A closer move will, for instance, allow you more participation in the child’s schooling or extracurricular activities. Moving further away will have the opposite effect.

Receiving More Support

Parenting is difficult, especially when you are on your own. When you were married, perhaps you had a large network of people who could help. The divorce, however, could have forced you to lose relationships with people who helped in the home. If you remarry or have extended family move closer, you may have more resources and time to spend with the children.

Changes in Your Schedule

A job schedule has a direct impact on your parenting. Perhaps you work nights, making single-parent custody difficult, or you work from home, meaning you need more time alone. If your job or your shift changes on a semi-permanent basis, this could free you up to take the kids more often. The opposite may also be true, where a job change means you need the kids for less time.

Changes in Your Relationship

Divorce is hard on the whole family, and it can have a damaging impact on the relationship between parent and child. Courts will consider the closeness of the relationship to determine custody. As time passes, however, wounds can heal, and broken relationships can mend. Growing closer to your children is a good reason to modify your custody. The child can even tell the court that they want more time with you, and normally, the court will pay attention.

If you need help with a custody modification, whether through negotiations or a courtroom plea, our firm can help. For a free consultation, schedule time with us online, or call us now at (636) 552-4841.

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