When you divorced, you may have been surprised at how seriously the law takes the treatment of children in a divorce situation. As the incidence of divorce increased in the United States, so did the awareness of the impact on those most innocent and vulnerable parties: the children. Once these provisions dealing with their care are in place, they remain open and flexible. When you consider how children and the adults in their lives change and grow, move, remarry, and more, you can understand why all provisions concerning minor children in a divorce remain open at all times. Your divorce may be final, but child custody, visitation, and child support won't be final until they reach the age of majority, or in some cases, finish college. Read on to learn more about what happens when a custody change needs to be made.
Understanding the Orders
Part of your final divorce paperwork will be some very special orders that apply to your children, and you must take them seriously. No matter how much time as passed, you are not free to simply adjust those provisions according to you, the other parent, or the child's wishes. Taking the time to create an agreement that will continue to work for everyone for years is vital, but as time goes on, you may begin to realize that a change must be made to some part of the provision. When that time comes, you must make the changes legally by requesting that an order be altered through a hearing.
What is Best for Your Child?
Decisions that concern your children are not made based on what is best for you or your ex; they are made based on what is best for your child. That was the thought that went into the original orders, and it would benefit you a great deal to keep that in mind when requesting a change be made to those orders. If the change seems to primarily benefit the parents and not necessarily the child, you would do well to re-think your request entirely.
Good Reasons to Adjust a Provision
1. Parent is unfit: When a custodial parent is no longer able to properly care for a minor child, the child is obviously affected negatively. The reasons for this can be anything from drug and alcohol abuse to medical or mental issues.
2. The child is older and more independent: Young children tend to have less busy lives than tweens and teens who are seeking more independence. Busy children may have different needs, and the visitation and custody arrangements that worked well for them at one time may now be causing chaos and discord.
3. A parent wants to move away: This is a common issue and can cause custody and visitation plans to be thrown into disarray. The judge will consider whether or not the move or the change is beneficial to the child or not.
For information to help you if you need to change your child custody arrangements, contact a family law firm in your area, such as Cragun Law Firm.