Child custody orders are set based on what a child needs at the time it is set. It’s unrealistic to think that one order is going to be suitable from the time a baby is born until they reach adulthood. For this reason, it’s sometimes necessary to modify the child custody agreement.

There are some very specific situations that signal a need to modify the custody order. The court is going to review the reason for the request, so this isn’t something that should be done without a valid cause.

The most urgent reason to seek a modification is because there’s a reason to think that the child is in danger. This might be because you’ve learned that domestic violence is a problem in the home. The safety of the children is a priority to the court, so these modification requests will be treated seriously.

Another reason to seek a modification is if one parent moves or passes away. The child custody order will need to be changed to reflect the major life change. In these cases, the court will look at the applicable factors and determine what’s best for the child.

It’s also possible to seek a modification if one parent isn’t complying with the current order. This typically requires a series of order violations. For this reason, you should clearly document all instances in which the order isn’t followed unless there was a mutual agreement to alter the terms.

While some parents are able to easily modify the custody agreement, others aren’t able to do this. If there’s a contentious matter or if you and your ex are just unable to work out something, seeking a modification from the court might be necessary. Discuss the matter with your attorney, so you’re aware of what options you have for getting the order set up in the way that’s best for your child.