Modifying Child Custody


#1

My ex and I agreed on custody during voluntary mediation in Feb 2013. This custody agreement was entered into our divorce degree 7/5/13. My ex informed me last week that the custody schedule we agreed to wasn’t working for him and that he plans to present me with a new schedule soon. If I don’t agree he said he will take it to court.

From everything I have read and heard, there has to be a substantial change in circumstance for the courts to consider modification of custody. What qualifies as “substantial”? Can my ex request modification simply because he changed his mind and what we agreed to “isn’t working for him”?


#2

Not an attorney

I believe you are correct, however, I think you need to look at the best interest of the kids. If the schedule sincerely isn’t working for some unforeseen reason, then as a responsible and reasonable parent, I think at a minimum you should consider working something out. In the end, all the fighting only hurts the kids and makes lawyers a lot of money.

One day the shoe could be on the other foot.


#3

What is considered a substantial change in circumstances, warranting a change to the child custody order is determined by the court. Usually, a party’s dislike of the custodial schedule is not enough to meet this standard, but if there is an argument that the schedule is adversely affecting the children, it might be enough. You should have a consultation with an attorney in your area to discuss the facts of your case. Even if there has not been a substantial change, it may be worthwhile to engage in negotiations if it could mean avoiding court.