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3 reasons you may want to modify your child custody order

When parents get divorced, a child custody order is put in place. For many parents, this order stands as long as the child is a minor -- or longer, in some situations. However, parents can ask for the order to be modified. This isn't always granted. However, there are three reasons you may want to consider it:

1. One of you wants to relocate.

If you're moving too far away, or your ex is, you may not realistically be able to trade the children back and forth as you have been while you lived near each other. If driving hundreds of miles each week doesn't make sense, a new resolution may be needed.

2. You think there is a significant danger to the child.

For example, if you have joint custody but you think your ex is abusing the child, you may ask for a modification giving you sole custody. You could also be concerned about a dangerous living situation.

3. Your ex is violating the order in some way on a consistent basis.

You're probably not going to ask for a modification just because your ex doesn't stick to the visitation schedule for one weekend, though even that could violate your rights. If your ex keeps ignoring the order and not giving you the visitation times granted by the court, you may ask for a modification before your relationship with your child erodes. With an ex who won't follow the court's instructions, joint custody may not be as feasible as it first appeared.

If you're thinking about asking for a modification, it's important to know exactly how the legal process is intended to play out. You must ask for the order to be modified and have your request officially granted. Don't assume you can just make changes on your own, without the court's approval.

Source: The Spruce, "5 Reasons to Request Child Custody Modification," Debrina Washington, accessed April 06, 2017

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