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A change to your child custody agreement may be in order

Changes of all kinds occur as we go through life, and many of them affect those dear to us.

If you have divorced, a significant change may have occurred in your life that warrants modification to the child custody agreement that is currently in place. Your ex-spouse may or may not be supportive, but the decision is ultimately up to the court.

Built-in changes

You and your spouse may have built-in modifications to your original child custody agreement, anticipating that certain alterations would be necessary over time. These might address future changes due to the child's age or education needs. However, it is impossible to anticipate every new event that might occur in the child's life or in your own.

Common requests for modification

The main reason for a parent to request modification of an existing child custody agreement is either to change the amount of child support because of financial issues or to accommodate relocation due to a new job opportunity or to live closer to family members.

Other important changes

In addition to the above, there are several good reasons you might want to ask for child custody modification. You may have justification for your request if, for example, the other parent is in any of these situations:

  •         Has become seriously ill or disabled
  •         Has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol
  •         Stands accused of a crime, including child abuse or molestation
  •         Has remarried, and you believe the new spouse is undermining the standards you set for raising your child

The primary consideration

A family law attorney will tell you that the modification you request must be substantial. It is essential to minimize conflict, avoid as much disruption as possible to the child's life and to refrain from making any change that could adversely affect his or her future. If the judge finds that the change will be in the child's best interests, the court will likely grant your petition for custody agreement modification.


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Boyce, Leahy & Francescon, Lawyers
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 200
Manassas, VA 20110

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