When dealing with family law matters, the courts understand that people grow and change. What is best for children who are in preschool isn’t necessarily going to work once they are in middle school, and it would be silly to put orders in place thinking this was the case. That’s one reason that child custody modification processes exist.

What that means for you as the parent of a child or children in a custody arrangement is that things are rarely set in stone. If something doesn’t work in the future, you do have options for seeking a new order. It also means that one parent can’t “dominate” the child custody arrangement forever just because the other messed up or was not in a good position to have custody in the past.

Numerous reasons exist for seeking a modified custody agreement. In some cases, parents and children simply agree together to make a change because of any number of situations. In this case, it’s still best to get the order modified by the court, because you don’t want to risk following an unofficial agreement and having someone claim you are not following the court order.

Modifications aren’t always because of mutual agreement, though. You might believe that the other parent has become a danger or risk to your children. This could happen if the other parent has become involved in risky behavior, such as drug use, or has begun making decisions that endanger the kids in any way.

In most cases, modifications can be short- or long-term. Working with a lawyer, you can navigate the modification process to ensure your rights are protected and that you are following all court orders to protect your future rights and options.