What is a Substantial Reason for Changing Custody?

Dad buckling children into back seat of car

Like any relationship, co-parenting requires a little give and take from each parent. Especially if you and your ex divorced when your children were very young, co-parenting will be a part of your life for the next several years.

As children grow, you or your spouse enter new relationships, and job opportunities arise, your child custody agreement will likely need to be modified once, if not several times, before your youngest turns 18.

Modifying Your Child Custody Agreement

If Both Parents Agree to the Changes

If you and your ex spouse are on good terms and both agree to the requested changes, you can present them in court and have a new agreement drawn up relatively quickly.

If You and Your Spouse Disagree with the Modification

If one parent contests the proposed changes, the court will ultimately decide what’s in the best interest of the child.

Child custody is something North Carolina courts take very seriously, so changing your agreement “because you want to” is often not reason enough. Typically, a court will ask you why the agreement needs to be changed. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • It’s very difficult for one parent to fulfill the current custody or parenting plan.
  • The physical and/or mental health of one parent has substantially changed.
  • One or both parent’s financial circumstances have changed.
  • One parent is looking to make a long-distance move.
  • A long-term change in a parent’s work schedule.
  • One parent’s level of involvement in the child’s life has changed.
  • The type of living environment each parent can provide has changed.
  • The child’s needs have changed now that they’re getting older.

Custody disputes are never black and white. Essentially, courts will want to see that your circumstances have significantly changed since the agreement was first created and that you’re doing what you believe is in the best interest of the child.

Contested modifications are incredibly difficult, and a decision not in your favor could significantly impact you and your child’s life. At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issue may be. Our  lawyers provide tailored legal services with a unique, team-based approach to do our best to achieve these results.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our lawyers online or give us a call at (704) 286-0570.