Custody orders are difficult to modify if both parties are not willing to agree to the change. When there has been a material change in circumstance, a family law attorney can file a motion to modify your custody agreement in court. When you have a difficult ex who is not willing to budge on anything, it may require you to fight for these changes in court based on material changes in your circumstances. These changes are anything that can impact the life of your child, either in a positive or negative way, when a change to the custody arrangement would be beneficial. It can mean your ex is incarcerated, or you have stabilized and your children want to see you more.
When You are Trying for More Custody
If you weren't awarded substantial custody because you were having problems with addiction, or you were otherwise unstable, this is not held against you forever. When you have a good relationship with your children and you have turned your life around, it's probably time to modify the custody arrangement. While your ex may be resistant to changes in the custody order, the children deserve to have both parents in their life as much as possible. When you have made positive, lasting changes in your life, you may be able to get more custody.
Concerns With the Other Parent's Abilities
You might be worried about how your ex cares for the children when they are not with you. While this is common, this doesn't mean a change in custody is in order. A material change in circumstances occurs when your ex shows a marked inability to care for the children in the ways they need. This can be caused by your ex moving people in and out of the home and disrupting your children's lives, substance abuse, or mental illness that is no longer in control.
Your Current Custody Order and What Your Children Want
If your current custody order is not what your children want or feel comfortable with, this is taken into consideration more seriously as your children get older. By the time your child is a teenager, the court will take their wishes into consideration when deciding child custody arrangements.
It's hard to change custody on your own. When you work with a family law attorney, you will get the support you need to take your best shot at changing your current custody order to make it more amenable to you.