If your parenting plan no longer works for your family, it may be time to request a child custody modification. Even if you agree with the child’s other parent about the changes in your time-sharing routine, legal documentation can prevent future conflicts.
Review the instances when you may want to consider modifying your Maryland parenting plan.
New safety risks
You can request a modification if you think the environment in the other parent’s home impacts your child’s well-being. Because the court found that your original custody agreement served your child’s best interests, you must prove to the court that circumstances have significantly changed since that court order when you request this type of modification. For example, the judge may agree on modification if the child has experienced instability, neglect or violence at the other parent’s home.
The child’s preferences
If your child is 16 or older, he or she can request a custody change independently. However, this type of modification requires the child to prove that a change would best serve his or her interests.
Parents can request modification based on the preferences of a younger child if they both agree on the proposed change.
If the other parent wants to move with the child and you disagree because of the impact on your custody arrangement, you can request a modification. Conversely, a parent who wants to move must request a modification if the relocation would go against the current custody order.
Regardless of the reason for modification, you must make the request from the court where you receive the initial custody order.