Even after a divorce, spending time with your kids is one of the most important things that you do. That’s why the custody agreement was such an important part of the divorce process. If your circumstances change and you can spend more time with your kids, or you need to change when you spend time with your kids, then you have to modify the child custody agreement. There are several ways that you can do this in California.
The first step in any custody agreement modification is to discuss the changes with your co-parent first. That way, you are both on the same page as to what needs to change and what the new situation will be like.
This is the best result when it comes to changing the custody agreement. If you and your co-parent can agree on the new conditions of the custody agreement, then you don’t need to go to court to make changes. Instead, you just have to have your lawyer create the documents to update the custody agreement and submit them to the court. Once the judge signs it, the changes become the new custody agreement.
Mediation is another option for modifying a custody agreement without having to go to court. You and your co-parent meet with a mediator to discuss changes to the custody agreement.
Mediation is a good option for former couples with good communication skills. As long as the two of you can sensibly work through your situation, then you can use mediation as a cost-effective way to modify the custody agreement without having to schedule a court date.
If other options don’t work for you, then you need to file a petition with the family court to work on the change. Your lawyer can file a request to modify the custody agreement so that a judge will review it with both parties. If you go down this path, your lawyer has to explain to the court why you need the change to be made. The judge will order the change if there is a compelling reason that forces your co-parent to comply. Make sure that your reason is worth the judge forcing this change to happen. Otherwise, your request may be denied.
No matter which method you decide on, the first thing that you should do is discuss your case with a family law attorney first. A family law attorney can help you choose the right path for making custody agreement changes, as well as help you navigate the legal parts of the process. Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Bradley D. Bayan by calling (650) 364-3600 or using our online form.