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How can you modify a custody arrangement after a job change?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Divorce

Custody agreements intend to prioritize the current and future needs of your children. However, circumstances can change, requiring a modification of the agreement.

One such situation that could arise is when you experience a job change. Discover the steps to requesting a child custody modification in this instance.

Gather information and documents

To change a custody agreement, you must provide the court with relevant information and documents regarding your job change. For example, you must inform the court whether you lost your job, got laid off or changed employers.

Then provide evidence such as a letter of termination, a new employment contract or a pay stub. You will also need information about your child’s schedule, school, extracurricular activities and medical requirements that may affect the custody arrangement.

The New York Family Court handled over 140,000 cases regarding custody and visitation in 2023 in addition to 300,000 other types of filings. The judge and staff will surely appreciate good organization, which can help your case.

Notify the other parent

If you already have a custody arrangement in place, you must notify the other parent of your intention to modify the agreement. Try to communicate amicably and transparently about the proposed changes and explain the reasons. Providing as much notice as possible can be beneficial, especially if a significant change, such as a relocation, is necessary.

File a petition

You must next file a petition with the court. The petition should state the reason for the proposed changes and include the relevant documentation. The court will serve the other parent with a copy of the petition and give them a chance to respond.

If the other parent agrees to the proposed changes, the court usually approves them. However, if the other parent disagrees, the court will hold a hearing to decide which custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

Attend court hearing

If the other parent opposes the proposed changes, the court holds a hearing, and both parents have to attend. At the hearing, the judge considers evidence and hears testimony from both parents and any witnesses.

Obtain a modified custody agreement

If the judge approves the proposed changes, the court will issue a new custody agreement. The agreement outlines the revised parenting schedule, child support and any other relevant arrangements.

A job change can provide a valid reason for a child custody modification, but there is no guarantee that the court will approve the request. Good preparation and a spirit of collaboration with your co-parent can go a long way toward getting a favorable outcome.