After dealing with the stress of divorce, even if you had an uncontested filing, the last thing you probably want to do is go back to court. Most of the time, recently divorced couples have a custody order that will work for their family for at least a few years.
However, sometimes things for your family can change unexpectedly and mean that you need a custody modification far sooner than the average household. Modification hearings are a formal process through which the family courts review and possibly make changes to your custody order.
The following three situations are examples of when a modification could help your family.
- When you change jobs or shifts
The way that you split up parental responsibilities and parenting time will undoubtedly factor in your work schedule. If you switch to a daytime schedule after working third shift for years or if you move to a new job where you will have a predictable schedule every week as opposed to rotating availability, you may need to ask the courts to modify the custody order to reflect changes in your availability.
- When the kids have less time to spend with the parents
One thing that changes when your children get older is that they have more things they want to do outside of the home. Sports, academic clubs and part-time jobs can all eat into the time that your children have to spend with you. You may need to modify the custody schedule to reflect these new extracurricular activities or to integrate new rules so that you don’t miss out on your time with the kids.
- When you’re committed to being a better parent
Not everyone is ready to parent on their own when they split up with their spouse. Your circumstances at the time of your divorce may have limited how much time you can have with the kids. If you have addressed addiction issues, gotten more stable housing or otherwise improved your circumstances, you may be able to go back to the courts and ask for more parenting time.
Any other substantial changes in your life or the lives of your children could also be grounds to ask for a modification after the courts issue a custody order.