Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Should you ask for a modification of custody?

What can you do when the child custody agreement you have with your ex-spouse no longer seems to be working? Do you try to negotiate directly with them to see if you can come to an informal agreement, or do you take the matter to court?

It depends.

There are plenty of minor modifications you and your co-parent can make without getting the court involved. For example, if you and your ex-spouse want to switch holidays one year and you agree to all the terms, there's probably no reason to get a formal court order.

There are also times when you should probably forget about negotiating with your ex and head straight to court in order to best protect your child. These include situations when:

  • There's domestic violence involved. Maybe your ex-spouse and your child have conflicting personalities and their relationship has devolved into altercations that have turned physical. If so, it's time to make a change.
  • Your child wants to change residences. If your child is unhappy with the custody arrangement, it could affect their school performance and mental health.
  • Your ex-spouse is interfering with your relationship with your child. If they are denying visitation or actively trying to poison your child's mind against you, you may need to ask the court to intervene.
  • Your ex-spouse is mentally or physically incapable of caring properly for your child. For example, maybe they developed a drug addiction in the last few years and you're concerned for your child's safety.

If you feel like the circumstances warrant a modification of your child custody agreement, consider discussing the situation with an attorney.

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