The terms set for custody in your divorce or your parenting plan created by the judge will tell you when to pick up your kids and when you have to bring them back to your ex. The rules set in the custody order establish everything from your weekday parenting schedule to your holiday-sharing arrangements.
The plan you set may work well at first, but your family circumstances will inevitably change as more time passes after your divorce. When your custody order no longer accurately reflects your work schedule or the needs of the children, then it is probably time for you to ask the courts for a modification.
A modification is a formal change to your custody order that alters the obligations of the parents in the family to the children and to one another. Although divorce modifications can be contentious proceedings, they don’t have to be.
You and your ex can agree to a modification
As with any family court filing, you will have the option to file either an uncontested or contested modification request. If you and your ex can’t agree about what would be fair or appropriate, requesting contested proceedings means the judge will review your circumstances and make the final decision.
However, you don’t have to litigate the modification. If the two of you can agree on a specific change, you can always file an uncontested modification. In that situation, a judge’s signature is really just a formality because the two of you have already agreed to change the terms.
Understanding that you can work together for a custody modification can help you update your custody order more quickly and inexpensively.