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How to modify existing child custody arrangements

When a couple is going through a divorce, if they have children, the issue of child custody must be addressed. However, one or both parents may wish to revisit the issue months or even years down the road. As children grow, custody and parenting plans may require minor or major revisions, depending on the circumstances.

Saint Charles, Missouri, parents who have already dealt with child custody disputes may be wondering if it is time for them to revise their parenting plans. Parents need to understand that custody disputes can be settled without court intervention if they are satisfied with an informal agreement. However, if both parents seek a binding agreement, it is best to take the case to court where the judge can make the decision.

Filing a motion to modify custody is relatively simple. Parents can file the motion in court, stating new custody arrangements that they feel would benefit the children. In uncontested child custody cases, both parents can file the motion, presenting their new parenting plans, and the judge will formalize the agreement.

Parents can also use another option to let the court decide their case. In such cases, parents need to understand that the outcome of the case will be at the discretion of the judge. There are also contested child custody cases, which occur when one parent files a motion to modify custody while the other parent disagrees. In such cases, both parties are likely to be involved in a legal process to determine if the motion will be granted or not.

How the modification process proceeds depends on the people involved. When dealing with such cases, parents can retain the services of a knowledgeable legal professional who can help them to draft an agreement.

A reader who is planning to modify their child custody agreement may wish to speak with a family law attorney to better understand their unique situation. By doing so, a parent can avoid making costly mistakes that can affect the growth and development of the children.

Source: courts.mo.gov, "Motion to Modify Child Custody (and Support)," Accessed on Feb. 18, 2015

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