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Child Custody Legal Documents

Can I Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Indiana?

May 28 2018, by Sean Hessler in Children Services, Legal Blog

The court approves child custody agreements if it finds that the arrangements were made in the best interests of the child. But, what if your circumstances have changed? Is it possible to modify the child custody agreement you currently have in place?

When you have questions about your child custody agreement or other family law matters, you should contact Hessler Law. An Indianapolis family lawyer can provide guidance and help you draft the necessary forms to request the changes you seek. Call us at (317) 886-8800 to schedule a free, initial consultation today.

Can a Child Custody Agreement be Changed?

Modifying your child custody agreement is possible. However, doing so can be challenging. The court may not see a modification to custody as beneficial, since it may force the child to move around and adopt an unfamiliar routine. Generally, the court will entertain a request for modification if the change is in the best interests of the child, and a significant alteration in the circumstances has prompted the request.

There are a number of factors the court considers when creating a custody agreement. Some of these factors include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The child’s relationship with siblings or anyone else they would come into contact with on a regular basis
  • The mental and physical health of both the child and their parents
  • The child’s attitude toward their home and school life
  • Any history of mental or physical abuse from either parent

The court may ask the child to relate whom they wish to live with, and those wishes will be considered when making a decision. More consideration is granted to children who are 14 years of age or older.

Do I Have to Go to Court If I Want To Modify My Custody Agreement?

You will need to request a modification of your child custody agreement from the court. If you fail to do so, the terms will not change. But, you do not have to ask the court to make the modifications. If you and your child’s other parent have mutually agreed to the changes, you can draft your own modified parenting plan and present it to the court. It is essential to keep in mind that the court will want to ensure that your changes are best for your child. Thus, if it doesn’t see a significant reason for the decision, the court may not agree.

What if My Ex Won’t Agree to the Custody Modification?

Parents may not always agree to modify a custody order. But, it may be necessary to do so, even if you will get pushback from your child’s other parent. It’s important to remember that any meaningful change to the current agreement can incite a request for adjustment. Therefore, you do not have to present a united front with your child’s other parent to petition for it.

Want to Modify Your Custody Agreement? Talk to an Indianapolis Family Lawyer

You may be apprehensive about modifying the child custody agreement you’ve had in place. It can be difficult to uproot your child’s life, especially after they’ve gotten used to how things are. But, this fear shouldn’t stop you from requesting a modification, especially if you know your child will be better off in the long run.

If you need legal help drafting a modification, or you just want to get some advice to ensure what you’re doing is right, contact Attorney Sean Hessler at Hessler Law right away. Our lawyers can go over your case with you and help you decide the right action to take. For a no-cost, initial consultation, contact (317) 886-8800.