The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC Legal Blog

Can a child custody agreement be modified?

Just like any decision made during the divorce process in Sugarland, agreements concerning child custody and parenting time should not be made lightly. Though the courts make every effort to base child custody arrangements on the best interests of the child and in regard to the parents’ circumstances, issues can occur after the divorce that necessitate a need for adjustments.

Child custody arrangements are not set in stone, but that does not mean that either parent should violate or ignore them. Parents can take steps when there are challenges to the custody arrangement that keep them from adhering to it. Sometimes, the issues are short-term. In those cases, parents should try to work the issues out themselves with minimal court involvement. Long-term or contentious issues may require professional and court intervention. Here are actions parents can take to ensure their child custody arrangement works for everyone.

Talk it out

Employment and income changes, relocation, medical emergencies, child safety concerns and custody violations are valid reasons to consider alternative child custody arrangements. Depending on the nature of the issue, some parents find it wise to talk things over and work things out themselves. Not all issues require the direct intervention of the courts. It is in the best interests of the child and both parents to seek a middle ground and remain considerate of uncontrollable factors like employment and illness that can impact a child custody order.

Keep a record

Not all violations are unintentional. Some parents have bad intentions and ignore child custody orders. The compliant parent should not try to enforce them on their own. They should keep a written record of all custody order violations that include the date, time and possible reason for noncompliance. A police report may be necessary to help substantiate evidence against a contentious parent, especially if there are safety concerns.

Get legal help

When noncompliance becomes an ongoing or safety issue, seek out the court’s assistance. The courts will examine all claims and evidence to redetermine a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child.

A child custody order protects parental rights and clearly outlines both parents’ obligations. Enforcement is a legal matter. Violators are subject to penalties that include contempt of court charges, jail time, fines and a loss of parental rights.

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