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Modifying a custody agreement

One of the most critical aspects of a divorce involving children is deciding child custody. Though a custody agreement may work at first, circumstances may change that make new arrangements a necessity.

It is important that parents understand the various aspects of child custody, including modifications. There are a few key factors to know about modifying a child custody agreement.

Determining factors

The courts do not tend to provide custody modifications easily. The petitioning party must show a true need for the changes, for instance:

  • The custodial parent relocating
  • Change in a parent's physical or financial state
  • Change in the child's physical or mental health

In order for the courts to consider a modification, there must be an event that may have a serious impact on the child. Sometimes, this may even include the child growing in age and a parent desiring to spend more time with the child. 

Stipulations

Kentucky statute for custody modifications clearly states the stipulations for requesting, granting and executing modifications to a custody agreement. According to the law, an agreement must be in place for at least two years before either party may request a modification. Along with the time frame, a request must meet a few additional requirements. However, there are some emergency situations where the courts willingly make an exception to the law.

Exceptions

Emergency situations that constitute an exception commonly involve children being in danger, whether it is a threat of harm to them or lack of care from the parents. If a parent is able to prove abuse, the courts may remove the child from that parent and provide full custody to the other parent. Alternatively, in cases where a parent passes away or becomes incapacitated, the courts may modify the custody arrangement to place the child with the other parent primarily.

These are a few of the key factors of a custody modification. If a parent is considering filing a petition or having to fight one, it is a good time to review the law and consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney.

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