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Changed circumstances that alter child custody solutions

The child custody solution that you settle on when you get divorced may not be one that works for the rest of a child's time living with you and your ex. You must be open to the idea of change, especially when there are altered circumstances that make that change unavoidable.

After all, your custody order may stand for a long time, and it's unrealistic to expect your life to stay exactly the same for that entire time. Say you get divorced when you have a newborn. You and your ex will then share custody for roughly the next 18 years. A lot can happen in that time, including:

  • You get a new job, giving you a new schedule to work around.
  • You decide to move to be closer to your family, to take that new job or for some other reason.
  • Your child starts school and they have a new schedule and needs.
  • Your child gets a job and alters their own schedule.
  • Your ex gets into legal trouble or gets arrested.
  • Your ex violates the custody agreement that you already have and it's clear that change is necessary.
  • One of you has an adverse health event that makes it harder to care for the child.
  • Your child's preferences change and he or she tells you they want to spend more or less time with you or your ex.

These are just a few examples of situations requiring custody modifications, but they illustrate why you need to be flexible and understand your legal options to modify an existing custody plan.

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