Why Modify Custody Orders?

Siblings hugging one another on a couch.

One of the greatest joys in life is being able to spend time with and watch your children grow. You want to be a part of their lives, providing them with everything that they deserve. However, the dynamic can change after a divorce. It can be challenging to navigate through changes in how you see your children and spend time with them. It may feel as though your custody order is a concrete document, something that you cannot change.

It is important to note that the modification of custody orders is possible. Several circumstances warrant these changes. Family Law Solutions of Iowa can explain common occurrences in which altering an existing custody order is necessary.

1. Experiencing Alienation

Some may be surprised to learn that one parent may attempt to alienate their children from the other. They will do things such as speaking negatively about the other parent or telling the child lies about them. The main goal in these situations is for the child to reject or try to remove the other parent from their life. Experiencing alienation can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. However, it is something that can be addressed through modification.

If one parent is attempting to alienate their child, then modifying the custody order will likely be necessary. Typically this will have to be done through litigation since they are already causing problems and refusing to co-parent based on true negotiation. Other interventions might also have to take place to maintain a positive relationship and situation for the children involved.

2. Needing to Move

As life progresses, sometimes it is necessary to relocate to a different geographic location. This is one of the more common reasons for custody modification. Parents will either request changes based on geographic expansions or restrictions. Often these requests will require negotiation between the parties involved in order to reach a sound agreement that benefits the wellbeing of the children involved.

An example of one of these modifications may be that one parent is offered a new job several counties away. Due to this, they will have to request an expansion of their custody agreement, while also readjusting parenting or visitation schedules. If one parent keeps moving around the state, the other may request a restriction in the custody agreement to provide more stability for their children.

3. Drug or Alcohol Issues

Addiction to substances can severely impact an individual’s ability to parent. It can also put children in a dangerous situation, exposing them to things that are not appropriate. If this problem arises after establishing custody orders, it will require immediate attention through modification.

Limiting the amount of time a parent has access to a child is an option in these situations. Sometimes the courts will also order other types of treatment, such as counseling or other interventions. Another possibility is that they will mandate alcohol and drug testing prior to allowing access to the children.

4. Co-Parenting Problems

Co-parenting is a challenge under normal circumstances. However, if one parent refuses to act as a team member, this can only make the process more difficult. For example, they may make important decisions for their children without consulting the other parent, or change schedules and plans at the last minute.

If one party is unable to work together as a co-parent, it can negatively impact the children. In these situations, it is necessary to reassess the custody order and parenting plans in order to create a more beneficial situation for the children. It may result in one parent having less access to their children, as well as less power and ability to make decisions for them.

5. The Child’s Needs & Wants

As a child ages, they are able to articulate their own thoughts and feelings more maturely. This may result in them voicing their own wants and needs, such as where they would like to spend a majority of their time. This may lead to a reasonable change in circumstances.

Experienced Modification Attorneys in Des Moines

If you are encountering issues in your child custody agreement, it might be time for a modification. In order to do this the right way, it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side. Family Law Solutions of Iowa is here to provide you with support when you need it.

To schedule a consultation, call us at (515) 305-3474 or visit us online.

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