One of the best things divorced or separated parents can rely on to avoid disputes is a child custody agreement. These agreements are designed to ensure parents still fulfil their obligations even though they aren't living together as a family. However, over time, the agreement may lose its effectiveness, disrupting the peace and order the parents and children have been enjoying.
So, what should you do when this happens? Should you get assistance from family lawyers or the court? Child custody agreements can be changed with the help of a family law expert if the involved parties prove that it's not working. Below are some of the reasons why most parents consider changing child custody agreements.
If a child is in danger
Child custody agreements focus more on the well-being of the child. If you can prove that a child is in danger in their current home, then the court will be obligated to accept the modification of the initial custody agreement. Some of the factors the court can consider include domestic violence in the household or the child's unwillingness to remain with the assigned parent.
When the custodial parent passes on
Natural occurrences, like the death of the custodial parent, can also trigger the need for child custody agreement changes. The court will take the time to determine if the other parent can assume full responsibility or a third party will be appointed to take custody of the young one. In most cases, the court will rule in favour of the non-custodial parent to avoid straining the child's life. But, if the child refuses to stay with the non-custodial parent or the parent's employment makes it difficult for them to assume full responsibility, a third party is appointed and given custody.
When the child's emotional, academic and physical needs aren't met
If you are a non-custodial parent and you know that the custodial parent isn't meeting your child's academic, physical or emotional needs, you can ask the court to modify the custody agreement. For instance, a child could be failing in school because the custodial parent doesn't care much about their academic excellence after paying the tuition fees. Or, the child doesn't get quality medical care and their health has been deteriorating, but you have better access to the medical care that the child needs at the moment. Note that one poor grade or illness cannot warrant a custody change – the issue must recur to grab the court's attention.
To learn more, speak to a family lawyer.