LIfe happens, and custody orders aren't necessarily set in stone

Changes in life are sometimes inevitable and can come in various forms, minor and major alike. Some individuals may have less demanding circumstances and thus find it easier to adjust to change, while for others, the process could be significantly more involved. Perhaps you have children with a former spouse and worry that your custody agreement might hinder your ability to accommodate change.

When attempting to reach an initial parenting schedule, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to account for what the future may hold. There are certain circumstances that may occur down the road where a change to your previous custody agreement might be necessary or even required.

Modifying a child custody agreement

There are a couple of ways to go about modifying a custody order, which may depend on your ability to negotiate with your former spouse. Some circumstances where an adjustment to this order might be necessary can include the following:

  • Relocation: Certain changes in life, such as employment, can spark a need for relocation. If the distance is more than 50 miles away from the former spouse, it might require approval and/or a change to the current agreement.
  • Age of child: As children grow up, they may enter into various avenues of life, such as school or extracurricular activities. Parents may have to adjust to accommodate their kids throughout these new endeavors.
  • Criminal charges: Although not an ideal situation, criminal charges may spur a need for temporary or, in some cases, permanent adjustments to a custody agreement.
  • Refusal of visitation: If a parent refuses to comply with the visitation rights of the other parent, it will likely result in a need to revisit the initial order.

If you and your former spouse can agree upon a new parenting schedule, the process may be much smoother. If unable to do so, yet the change is a necessity, you might have to go through mediation or take the matter before a judge.

Obtaining assistance

Whether the change is in the best interest of the parent, the kids or both, the process can be exceedingly complex. You might be worried that the proposed change will bring about conflict or opposition from the former spouse, but you may still need to make an adjustment to the current parenting plan. If this is the case, you will probably find it advisable to seek assistance in the process.

You could speak with an attorney with experience in child custody modification. A family law attorney can address your concerns and needs, inform you of any Tennessee state laws that may apply to your situation and subsequently assist you in pursuing the necessary changes to your child custody agreement.

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