Child custody orders should ensure children receive quality care and bonding time with divorced or separated parents.
Most parents negotiate agreements during divorce proceedings. However, as time goes on and family circumstances change, it may be necessary to request a modification.
1. A parent is relocating
If one parent moves from the current city or state where the children reside due to a job opportunity or other circumstance, the move may make it impossible to adhere to the current visitation schedule. Even if co-parents cooperate to make visitation possible, the situation may adversely impact children in other ways, such as missing school, recreational activities and social engagements.
2. A parent refuses to participate
If one parent gives up on the co-parenting relationship and starts to ignore the schedule, the rest of the family can face unnecessary inconveniences. If communication between the parents fails, and they cannot establish an alternative plan, the court can review the reasons for the failed visitation agreement and revise the order to better serve the interests of the children.
3. A parent passes away
If the custodial parent perishes, the court will determine whether the non-custodial parent or a third party will assume full custody. In most cases, judges prefer children remain with a biological parent, but some circumstances may prevent the surviving parent from taking on the children full-time:
- Employment or income challenges prevent the surviving parent from providing adequate care
- The non-custodial parent resides too far away from the children’s home, school and family
- The children wish to live with someone else
Parents should make every effort to work out an agreement before going back to court, but in some cases, requesting a child custody modification is in the best interest of the minor children in the family.