Circumstances change in life, and even if you feel your divorce agreement covered all the bases, you may need to modify it. Child custody is one of the issues that most often comes up.

The requested change could be due to a matter that involves either you or your ex, or the need for modification might involve your child directly.

Demonstrating need

Perhaps the other parent has received a job offer in another state, or perhaps your job description is changing and you will be required to work longer hours. Reasons like these will affect custody or at least visitation terms as they were originally set out in your divorce decree. On the other hand, your child may have become seriously ill, which requires greater financial assistance on the part of your ex. Your ex may have developed a drug addiction or you believe that he or she is abusing the child. Whatever the reason for your request for modification, you must be able to show proof of need, such as medical records or a letter from your employer verifying the change in your job description and hours.

All about the child

The tasks associated with co-parenting are not easy, and you and your ex may be struggling with the plan you originally put in place. This could be another reason for requesting custody or visitation modification. For example, perhaps your child has officially become a teen with a teen’s sometimes belligerent attitude. If you have had physical custody since the divorce, you may feel that it would be better at this stage for the other parent to become more involved in your teen’s life. In this, as in every other kind of case, the judge will base the eventual decision on the child’s best interests.

Thinking ahead

Remember that circumstances will continue to change over time. The modification you request now will affect your lives, your relationship with each other and your interaction for a long time to come.