As most people understand and accept, rarely does life stand still. As time goes on, where you live, how much money you make and who you associate with are likely to change — it’s a natural part of life.
Thus, it is perhaps unsurprising that many parents find the need to modify their child custody agreements, especially if those agreements were established years in the past. But how can you make this happen?
The first step in the process is to communicate your interest in changing your custody arrangement with the other parent as soon as possible. This will obviously be easier if you have an amicable relationship with that person, but you should make contact and explain the situation regardless of the circumstances between the two of you.
In general, courts will only allow custody agreements to be modified if there is an allegation that the children are endangered under the current custody arrangement and a change in custody would be in the best interests of the kids in question. Judges and court officials are hesitant to disrupt children’s lives, and so they look very closely at the reasons behind the modification request and how it could potentially impact the kids.
Another possible reason for a custody modification is relocation. If you lose your job, for example, and are forced to accept another job in a different part of the state (or out of state), you might not be able to adhere to your previously established custody and parenting schedule. In this situation, the judge would examine whether a change would be in the best interests of the children, and look at whether the move could have been avoided, if the move actually renders the parenting schedule impossible and if the new arrangement would harm the children in any feasible way.
There are also other reasons to potentially seek a custody modification, including when one parent passes away or if the other parent fails to cooperate with the established agreement. Generally speaking, modifying custody and/or significantly altering a parenting time schedule can be difficult to achieve. But there are situations that may warrant it.
If you would like to learn more about child custody modifications in Minnesota, speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.