Life is unpredictable. The things we plan might not always go the way we expect. This can especially be true after a divorce when unexpected factors arise and require you to reevaluate the decisions you previously made.
One such decision may be regarding the custody agreements of your child. If you and your ex-spouse have any children, you likely already went through the challenge of determining custodial and visitation rights.
But sometimes your circumstances change, and that’s okay. You must do what you can to protect your children and ensure they can grow up in a healthy environment.
Maintaining the best interests of the child
Many states, Mississippi included, value the child’s best interests over other factors when it comes to custody arrangements. Judges want to ensure the child feels secure and comfortable and want to prevent further negative impact.
Therefore, custody modifications can be tricky, as a judge will want to verify that the modification will not disrupt the child’s lifestyle drastically.
Reasons for pursuing custody modification
There can be many reasons to consider modifying your custody order. You will need to explain your intentions clearly to a judge for the changes to take effect. A judge will likely look at two major factors:
- A significant change has occurred in the custodial parent’s life. This can be anything that can prevent the custodial parent from providing support to their child, such as struggling with physical or mental health, or financial circumstances.
- It’s the best interests of the child. As explained above, the child’s best interests matter considerably. For example, if the custodial parent needs to move out of the state or country for work but does not want to uproot their child’s life, modifying the custody agreement may be in the child’s best interests. This way, the child can continue attending the same school and living in a familiar environment.
If you need to change your custody agreement, you should reach out to your ex-spouse and then submit a motion for modification with the court. A knowledgeable attorney on child custody can help you through this process and ensure you are prepared for making your claims of modification to a judge.
At the end of the day, you want to do what’s best for your kids, and sometimes that means changing your custody agreement.