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Why would you modify a child custody arrangement?

The child custody arrangement that the court helps you set up when you get divorced is based on the facts of the case at that time. If those facts change, you may need to ask for an alteration later on.

For instance, maybe you got a job offer and you want to relocate. You can't keep the same schedule from your new location. You need to talk to the court and get permission to move and to change the agreement so that you do not violate your ex's rights.

Or, perhaps your child is just getting older. The arrangement you have made sense for your newborn at the time of the divorce, but now your child is going to school and everything is much different. You need an updated plan that protects your rights as a parent at this new stage in life.

You always want to think about your child's best interests. One less common -- but very important -- reason for a modification is if you think that your ex poses a risk to the child. Maybe you suspect abuse. Maybe your ex is involved in illegal activities, like drug use. Maybe you just don't think his or her home is safe for some other reason. You must make safety a priority, and you can seek a modification to protect your child.

No matter why you want to alter the plan, it is very important to follow the proper steps and do it legally. Make sure you know exactly what you must do to avoid violating your ex's rights in any way.

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