When divorcing parents make decisions regarding child custody, they usually do so based on specific circumstances such as work schedules, living arrangements, the age of the child, the child’s activities and more. However, things can change, and sometimes the original custody agreement no longer works for one or both of the parents.
If this is the case, the court may grant a modification to the custody order. Parents can also request changes to visitation times if the situation warrants it.
Reasons to modify custody orders
According to the Missouri Revisor of Statutes, there does not need to be a major change in circumstances in order for modification to take place. A custody decision can change based off situational changes regarding either parent or the child, but the modification must be in the best interests of the child.
According to FindLaw, anyone affected by the current custody agreement can make a modification request, but the person cannot file a motion until at least one year after the last court order unless it is an emergency.
A parent may also request changes to visitation schedules. Valid reasons for this include:
- The current order does not work for one or both parents
- There is a change in situations
- The custodial parent moved out of state
- A parent is not following the current visitation order
The courts make modifications based on what is best for the child, and children may also have a say regarding which parent they live with, as long as the child is at least 12 years of age.