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When can you modify a child custody order?

The Pennsylvania court understands custody arrangements as a temporary agreement subject to change.

Children get older, and their needs change. Additionally, parents face life adjustments as well. Any of these may require changes in a custody agreement.

Requesting relocation

Sometimes the perfect career opportunity requires relocation. However, when you have shared custody of your children with your former spouse, you cannot simply pack up and move. When relocating impairs the other parent’s ability to exercise their custodial rights, you can either come to an agreement together or take the issue to the court.

The court will evaluate your request based on several factors, but everything boils down to what is in the best interests of the child. If your new position provides significantly higher earnings, allowing you to provide more for your child, the court takes that into consideration.

In the child’s best interests

Pennsylvania court considers several best interest factors when evaluating a request for custody modification. The primary concern is that modifications do not affect the frequency of contact between the child and each parent. Some other concerns include:

  • How well the parents cooperate with one another
  • Keeping the child in a stable environment
  • Relationships with other family members
  • For older children, consideration of the child’s preference

The court reviews all custody agreements and modifications on a case-by-case basis. Every case is different.

You can request a modification for many different reasons. However, when it is in the best interests of your child, you have a better chance of approval.