Our lives rarely remain static. We must constantly adjust to various changes. Fortunately, the law recognizes this fact as it relates to child custody agreements.
If you need to adjust your child custody plan because your job has relocated out-of-state, you should seek a child custody modification. A request for a modification can take one of two paths.
Creating a consent order
This is the easiest path for changing a child custody agreement. You and the other parent must agree to the new terms of your parenting arrangement. By entering into a consent order, you both make it clear that you agree to the changes and that the changes will be enforceable.
Filing a motion with the court
If you’re unable to reach an agreement with the other parent for any reason, you will have to seek court approval for a modification to the custody agreement. The court will take a two-pronged approach when deciding whether a modification is in order.
First, the court will determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances that require a modification. This is not a high bar to clear. A job that requires you to move out-of-state would likely be considered a substantial change in your life.
Second, the court will have to determine whether the requested change is in your child’s best interests. The court may apply several factors to determine whether the change will be in your child’s best interests.
Other changes may need to be considered
A change to a custody agreement may require changes to other areas of your divorce agreement. For example, if you will be taking a larger role in caring for your child, you may need to change orders for child support. You should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional to ensure your interests remain protected throughout this process.