Modification of Custody Agreements

When a custody agreement is initially created, it caters to the needs of the parents and children at the time it is created. The custody agreement is drafted, and agreed upon, and all parties involved are expected to adhere to the terms of the agreement. While this may work for a short while, oftentimes circumstances change, and the initially agreed upon terms may not continue to be the best option for everyone. When this happens, its time to reconsider the agreement. You can petition the court for a modification of the currently standing custody agreement.

Sometimes, custody agreements can be handled through interactions outside of the courtroom. A new agreement can be drafted, both parties can agree to these terms, then submit the changes to the court. It is highly recommended, however, to retain the services of an attorney even if the court will not be involved. An attorney will be able to protect you and your child's best interests. If a custody agreement cannot be reached without the aid of a judge, you will have to go to court to settle the modification.

Applying For A Custody Modification

Custody is normally handled at the county level. Typically, parties interested in modifying custody must file with the county court that they currently reside in. Each county has its own distinct method of exactly how a custody modification must take place; however, some general elements of a custody modification generally remain the same. Across all counties, for a custody modification to take place, one of the parents (or custodial parties) must file a written request for a change, with the reasoning behind it. Many times the courts demand what is called a "substantial change in circumstances" in order for a custody modification to become permanent. There are a number of examples of these circumstances, but a few common ones include:

Relocation

Typically, one custodial parent is not allowed to relocate further away from the other, especially when the relocation takes them and their child very far away. If the relocation is absolutely necessary, then an agreement must be worked out and approved by the court, with sufficient evidence to back up each respective party's claims to the child. At this stage, legal representation can be crucial to your success.

Change In Lifestyle

A change in lifestyle is a broad phrase that can be used to describe several things. Most importantly, however, it basically describes some sort of change to the way a parent is able to take care of a child, in a way that directly affects the child. Changes in lifestyle can include innocuous things such as a parent pursing an education or changing their hours at work, which would interfere with the time they can spend with the child. They can also include more serious things such as criminal offenses or a substance abuse problem. These are very complicated matters, and can make custody modification a complex process.

If you or a loved one is currently engaged in matters of Family Law, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

Penn footer2

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

Menu