Child custody: be prepared for changes to the agreement over time
There are few guarantees in life. When you meet the love of your life, there’s no guarantee that your wedding day will go off without a hitch. Once you’re married, there’s no guarantee that your union will persist through the years. And if you get divorced, there’s no guarantee that whatever agreement you reach will be the same on day one of your divorce as day 1,000. In fact, in relation to the latter, it’s highly unlikely it will remain the same.
Arrangements after a divorce has been finalized need to change as your life (and your former spouse’s life) changes. Your financial situation is bound to change, just as your employment situation is bound to change. Now, imagine you have a child in these scenarios. How can you address the dramatic life events that can happen over the years in your child custody agreement?
If your life changes to the point that you need to move to a different state or to a city far away, then you need to work with your former spouse to make arrangements for your child. For example, you should inform your former spouse about a move in written form, and it should be done within a certain amount of time before the move. Depending on state laws, this time frame will vary. You may also receive express consent from your former spouse, a clause that may be covered in your original child custody agreement, that allows for a new custody plan in light of relocation.
Some states may even have default rules for relocation. For example, if you move a certain distance away, even if it is within the same state, that distance may qualify as “relocation.” You will also want to make provisions for new costs that will arise as a result of the move, and how those costs relate to taking care of your child.
Changes to a child custody arrangement can be hard to achieve, but with experienced legal representation on your side, you can really benefit.
Source: FindLaw, “Child Custody Relocation Laws,” Accessed June 22, 2016
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