If you are divorced from your child’s other parent in Pennsylvania, you may want to work out any conflicts that you have with that parent without going back to court. However, there are certain situations in which you may need to request a formal child custody modification.
Courts make an effort to choose the child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child. Most of the time, this means that they will work from the assumption that the child should spend time with both parents even if the parents do not get along with one another or approve of one another’s parenting styles. However, if you believe that the child is in danger with their other parent, this could be a reason for the court to grant a modification. The court may consider what the nature of the danger is and whether the child wants to remain in the home. You may need to have documentation, such as police or medical reports, if you allege abuse.
There might also need to be a modification if one parent is planning to move. A court will look at why the parent is moving and how it will affect the child’s life, including visitation. There are also more unusual circumstances that could lead to a modification, such as the death of the custodial parent. In many cases, the child would be placed with the noncustodial parent, but there are situations where the child might live with a third party instead.
If one parent repeatedly violates the terms of the custody and visitation agreement, this could also be grounds for a modification. However, seeking this modification should not be your first step. You should first try to communicate with the other parent and resolve this issue. Mediation could be another way to deal with co-parenting conflict after divorce if your attorney recommends it.