Family courts understand that the future is always unpredictable. Therefore, even binding custody agreements will likely need to be changed at some point in the future, especially if the agreement was made when your children were very young.
Because of this, you can request a modification to your agreement. However, it’s important to know that simply wanting to make a change is often not enough — you must prove that it’s within the best interest of your child.
As per the North Carolina child custody modification law, the parent should file a motion through the court to modify the plan.
Common Reasons Why Parents Request a Custody Modification
Changes in a Parent’s Physical or Mental Health
If one parent becomes physically ill, mentally unwell, or begins experiencing substance abuse problems, the courts may believe that changing the child’s custodial parent is necessary.
However, positive changes can also be grounds for a modification. For example, a parent who previously had a substance abuse problem, but is now clean, can petition for more visitation or shared custody.
Changes in the Child’s Needs
The needs of an infant or toddler are very different from the needs of a preteen. If you can demonstrate to the court that your child’s needs have changed, you may have grounds for a modification.
In addition to normal aging, substantial changes in your child’s mental, emotional, or physical health could also constitute grounds for a modification. For example, one parent may be better suited to provide for a child with special needs, or one parent may live in closer proximity to necessary medical facilities.
One Parent’s Need to Relocate
If the custodial parent wishes to move far away (but still within the state) or out of state, they must first get the approval of a judge. Typically, the courts will look at several factors, including why the parent wishes to move (i.e. a good job opportunity) and if the custodial parent has extended family in that area. They will also consider if the move puts an unjust burden on the noncustodial parent or if the relocation would have a significant negative effect on the 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. Our experienced attorneys 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.