Can My Child’s Custody Arrangements Be Changed for the School Year?
When your child’s custody arrangements were originally established, you likely learned about the “best interests of the child” standard. All American family law judges are bound to base their child custody decisions on this standard. In addition, all arrangements mutually agreed upon by parents through the processes of mediation and negotiation must meet this standard or risk being rejected by the court. It is important to understand that modifications of existing child custody orders are held to the same standard.
If you are interested in modifying your child’s custody arrangements for the school year, know that any changes must reflect your child’s best interests. If you and your co-parent are willing to work together to craft a modification that works for your child, our firm can help you with that process. It may require mediation or attorney-led negotiation, but it is possible to achieve if both parents are willing to remain communicative and flexible when possible and appropriate. If your co-parent does not agree that a modification is the best choice at this time, our firm can help you to file a formal request with the court if you are interested in pursuing that option.
When thinking about modifying your child’s custody arrangements, take care to consider all areas of life that will be touched by the change. For example, your child may not need to change schools, but will after school care arrangements need to be adjusted? If one parent will be seeing less of your child, is there a way to make up for some of that time with a virtual parenting time schedule? Do holiday plans, summer parenting time or financial considerations need to be taken into account? Co-parenting tends to become increasingly complex when the unexpected knocks both parents (and the affected child) for a loop. Thinking ahead can mitigate any challenges that may arise from modified custody arrangements.
If your situation is urgent for any reason, including domestic violence, serious medical considerations or a need to move a significant distance away, please make these considerations known when speaking with an attorney. The modification process may be approached in different ways depending on the unique needs of family members affected by the process and/or the custody-related changes being proposed. The law generally seeks to accommodate urgent situations whenever possible and appropriate.
Child Custody Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about your child’s current custody arrangements or about modifications, please consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced family law attorney. You likely have several options available to you and an attorney can advise you accordingly once he or she has learned about the specifics of your family’s situation. If you and your co-parent mutually agree on a modification to standing orders, an attorney can help you navigate the formalization process. And if your child’s best interests warrant filing a formal modification request to be resolved by the court, a child custody lawyer in Rockville, MD will be able to assist you with that process as well.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and child custody arrangements for the school year.