Children often are caught in the middle of divorce. Their loyalties, in many cases, are with both parents, and now they likely will primarily live with just one of them. Child custody arrangements sometimes lead children and their parents from missing out on many life milestones. However, these arrangements are subject to modification when certain life changes or certain obstacles surface.
The courts, sometimes, revisit the initial agreement and order child custody modifications as long as those changes are in the best interest of the children. Perhaps one of the parents plans an out-of-state move for a new job or business opportunity. Or, in extreme cases, one of the parents no longer is in mental or physical condition to care for the children. These are examples of when child custody arrangements receive an additional review.
Relocation, lack of cooperation
Among the situations in which child custody arrangements get a second look for modification include:
- When the custodial parent relocates. Usually, these scenarios surface with a remarriage. The court scrutinizes such a move in determining if or how well children will adjust. Will such an interruption hinder the children’s lives? In some cases, the non-relocating parent is awarded custody.
- When an uncooperative parent dismisses and ignores the court-ordered custody and visitation agreement. Sometimes, animosity gets in the way and one parent may consider such a move in retribution. However, this just harms the children. Courts do not look kindly upon parents who do not abide by legal agreements.
- When a parent exhibits certain traits of instability. Depression, mental illness and substance abuse can hit certain people hard upon a divorce. When a child is in such an environment, a custodial change represents a potential solution.
Ideally, both parents should remain constant in their children’s lives even after a divorce takes place. With this in mind, child custody arrangements get a thorough review by courts. A mediation process also addresses child custody matters. But these agreements are not always permanent. A child’s best interests take precedent, and, in some cases, changes in the child custody agreement are necessary.