The care of the children is one of the most important matters when parents divorce. Even the most well thought out custody arrangements may become old and out of date as the child becomes older.
In such cases, it is possible to seek custody modifications, but parents should understand what the process entails. There are a few key facts to keep in mind about these modifications.
Grounds for consideration
Outside of emergency cases, a custodial agreement must be in place for a set amount of time before courts will consider making modifications. Even then, there are a few specific circumstances that commonly warrant a modification, including:
- Child’s health changes
- The child is in danger
- Custodial parent is relocating
The New Jersey child custody laws fully detail these and other stipulations that allow for modifications. Parents should become aware of these laws and how they influence their current agreement and any future chances of alterations.
There are a few select occasions where the court may forgo the set period that an agreement must be in place before rewarding a modification. Generally, this is when a child is in immediate danger, such as times when there is evidence of physical abuse, or if the custodial parent becomes incapacitated or deceased. The court may award the other parent, or a de facto custodian, with custody for a short period of time, or indefinitely.
When the parents are able to work together, any type of agreement can usually go through quicker. The same is true for custody modifications. Therefore, parents should try to work out a new agreement with the other parent. If this is possible, they may complete any necessary paperwork and submit it to the courts to make it official.
This is a brief overview of the key facts in custody modifications. Parents who are considering a modification should take time to weigh their options and determine the best choice for their situation.