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Child custody arrangements may need revisiting by parents

When a couple separates, a great deal of time and effort may be needed to draft a child custody agreement. Once a child custody agreement has been reached, that agreement often works for all parties for some length of time. However, Pennsylvania parents should realize early on that life circumstances and changing needs may require changes to a child custody agreement at a later point in time.

While the best interest of the child is central to a child custody agreement, a modification based on life circumstances may be necessary. One parental issue may be job loss. Another parental issue may be a change in work schedule. Either of these can make it difficult or impossible for a parent to stick to the same agreed upon child custody agreement.

Changing needs of the child can also impact an agreement between parents. If a child's needs make an existing agreement one that suddenly is not in that child's best interest, a modification may be granted by the court. The interaction with a child can impact an agreement and warrant a change, although the request needs to be evaluated. In those circumstances, the court must determine that the proposed change is necessary for the continued best interest of the child.

No child custody agreement is set in stone. The needs of a child and parent can vary greatly from one year to the next. However, courts do not typically modify a child custody order simply due to the fact that one parent wants a change. The issues can be as complex and unique as the Pennsylvania families involved. Before deciding whether to pursue a request for change based on a particular need, visit our website for more information about modifying custody agreements.

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