You and your ex-spouse want to do what’s right for your children, but changes in your lives have made it hard to stick to your custody schedule. Right now, you are on the third schedule you’ve put together in the last three years. You’re not sure what to do or if the court will hear your appeal to change your custody arrangements again.
The good news is that parents are able to file a request to modify a court order once every 12 months. Additionally, if you can show that there have been changes in your circumstances warranting a custody change, the court is often more than willing to help you do so when it’s in the best interests of your child.
Using a modification case to change your custody arrangements
If you and the other parent are in agreement on the changes that need to be made, then you can pursue a modification suit in court and have it finished “by agreement.” Both of you will need to sign the modification suit forms and submit them to the judge.
The alternative is finishing the lawsuit by default. This means that one parent has not answered or appeared in court. `For example, if your ex-spouse is served with information including that you want to change the custody order and fails to respond within the required time, the suit will finish by default without their input.
In the case that your case is contested, you will need to take your case to court. The other parent needs to have at least 45 days’ notice of this hearing before it can take place.
If you can agree, modifications are simpler
As you may be able to tell from this information, if you and the other parent can agree, then it is much easier to chance your custody arrangements. If you cannot, then you will need to go to court to present your case, which is a much longer and more tedious process.
It may be valuable to think about ways to negotiate changes before heading to court. If both parents can be happy with adjustments to the custody schedule, the schedule may be better for everyone.