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When can you request a custody modification?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Child Custody

The Minnesota family court system sees many cases where one or both parents may wish to modify the child custody order. While the court does try to order custody arrangements that are beneficial to the well-being of the child, sometimes changes may be necessary. If you have a legitimate reason to request a change to your custody order, you can petition the court to hear your case. Valid reasons for child custody order modifications may lead to the desired changes if the court deems them to be in the best interest of the child.

Reasons to ask for modification

Sometimes circumstances may change when both parents realize that the custody schedule is not working out. When both parents agree, the court may be more likely to make the changes official. If you or your ex plan on moving a significant distance away from where you currently reside, the custody schedule will likely need to be updated. A move may require a change in who acts as custodial parent along with details on how visitation will work with the non-custodial parent.

Sometimes, children may decide that they wish to make changes to their schedule by spending more time with one parent or the other. If your child is of the appropriate age, the court may agree to make the changes they ask for. If a child goes through a significant change like an illness, injury or other unexpected event, you may need to alter the custody schedule to benefit the child’s needs.

Concerns about your child’s well-being

If you have legitimate concerns about the well-being of your child while they’re spending time with the other parent, the court will take these concerns seriously and hear your case. Report suspicions of abuse or neglect promptly so the court can investigate those accusations. If your ex is abusing drugs or alcohol, you may request for your child to not have unsupervised visits until recovery or rehabilitation is complete.

Parental alienation, where one parent tries to harm a child’s relationship with the other parent, may cause the court to adjust the custody schedule. When a parent doesn’t follow the custody schedule and fails to pick up or drop off the child as directed, the court may order changes in the schedule. Any significant change in a parent’s life that affects the child may be cause for an adjustment.

Legal advice

Minnesota parents often find custody negotiations to be stressful, which can lead to arguments and the inability to agree without outside intervention. Whether you’re newly separated or divorced, or you need to request a change to a standing custody order, seeking legal advice is important. Having someone knowledgeable on your side can help you understand how to make the best decisions for your child.