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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Child Custody > Help! I Want to Change the Custody Agreement I Have with my Ex!

Help! I Want to Change the Custody Agreement I Have with my Ex!


When you first divorced, you and your spouse settled on a custody agreement and visitation plan.  But things have changed, and the original agreement is giving you headaches now.  It’s not just the parenting plan and visitation that is problematic; you are dissatisfied with the entire custody agreement.  What options do you have moving forward?

Modification is Possible 

While it’s not particularly common practice to change a custody agreement, it is certainly not without precedent.  When such a change is truly in a child’s best interest due to dramatic changes in circumstances, the possibility for change is very real.

Examples of Change that Justify Custody Modification 

Changing custody is a big deal.  Let’s say custody is currently shared, but you are hoping to get full physical and legal custody.  Or maybe one parent currently has full custody, and the other is seeking shared custody. While it can happen, it won’t happen on a whim.  Major changes must predicate upsetting the current status, and could include:

  • Health: Perhaps the other parent’s health has spiraled to the point that they are no longer able to care for a child, even part-time.  Or maybe the child has escalating health issues that require particular medical equipment, treatments, or accommodations that cannot be addressed in the other parent’s home.
  • Age: Was the child an infant that required regular nursing at the time of the divorce, but has grown old enough to enjoy more time with the father?
  • Abuse/Neglect: Has one parent failed to effectively provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child? Whether it’s a matter of limited supervision, or out and out physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, when kids are deemed to be unsafe, the courts will intervene.
  • Child Preference: When the divorce occurred, the child may have been too young to opine on a custody preference, but things may have changed. A child’s wishes may hold a lot of weight as they get older.

Filing With the Courts 

There are a number of forms that need to be filled out when attempting to modify custody, and, when there isn’t agreement between the parents, documentation to justify the request are required, as well. Depending on the changes, there may be significant adaptations to child support requirements, as well. Finally, you may be required to attend a parenting class with your ex that addresses working effectively together for the benefit of the child, the advantages of having both parents actively involved in a child’s life, methods to problem solve together, and more.

The Advocate You Need 

At Courtney & Mills, our experienced Springfield modification attorneys will fight for the best possible outcomes for you.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.



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