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4 Things to Know About Modifying a Child Custody Agreement

You may think that your child custody issues were settled as part of your divorce. Unfortunately, you may find yourself needing to modify the custody agreement. Here are some things you need to know about child custody modification requests before you move forward with the process.


Reasons for Modification

The first thing you need to take into consideration are the reasons that you can request a legal modification to the child custody agreement. Several reasons may pertain to you, but keep in mind that each have to be proved in some way. This means you will need proof from an authority of some kind to show the courts and attach with your modification request.

The reasons for modification can be due to an issue that makes it in your child's best interests, such as your child being in a harmful situation. Other reasons include a terminally ill diagnosis or death of the current custodial parent. A pending move may also be a reason for modification. In some cases, you may be facing the other parent not adhering to the child custody agreement, in which case a modification may be ideal.


Proof of Modification Need

Whenever you begin the process of modifying a child custody agreement, you will need to have proof of need. If the custodial parent has died, then you will simply need proof of death, such as a death certificate. If a move is involved, the proof of the reason of the move may be required. You will also need to prove that you have an established residence where you will be moving, like a lease or rental agreement.

If you are dealing with a criminal or safety issue, then you may have to take a few extra steps. The first step is to get a copy of a CPS report or police report, depending on the level of safety issue. If you do not have either of these, make a log of what has occurred to make you think there is a safety issue. Take that log and any accompanying paperwork to your consultation.


Modification Forms

You may believe that if you have a reason for modification that is urgent, such as a criminal need or a death, then the above documentation is all you need. The truth is, you will need the proper forms as well. You may be dealing not only with city forms but also county and state forms as well. If the issue is criminally related, you may have even more forms to fill out.

This is where the consultation with your lawyer comes in. Though you may not know how to even begin finding the right forms to fill out, your lawyer will. They can help you figure out what forms apply to your case. They can also help you ensure that all the forms are received and filed to move your custody modification in the right direction.


Failure to Meet Custody Requirements

Of all the reasons to file for a child custody modification, the hardest to prove will be a parent’s failure to adhere to the custody requirements. This could mean anything from not allowing the other parent to see the child during specific times to simply ignoring requirements all together. If this sounds like your situation, then you do have some options.

Prepare for your consultation by creating a log of the failures to meet the custody requirements. If you go to pick your child up and find that you are not being allowed to, then notify law enforcement. They can enforce the custody requirements so long as you have a copy that states when your visitation is.

Take the copy of the police report to your consultation. The log of the events will get you started and give your lawyer an idea of where things stand.

These are just four of the things you should know about requesting a modification to a child custody agreement. If you are ready to move forward with the process, contact Paul A. Meding, P.A., Attorney at Law. He can help you with the process, answer any questions and move you through to help obtain the proper modification.