For parents struggling with the idea of a divorce or separation, negotiating custody can be a difficult matter. Parents in demanding professions and those caught surprised by the divorce filing who may find themselves in unstable circumstances temporarily are also at risk of not presenting the best case possible in custody matters.
Whether you initially agreed with your ex that you weren’t in a position to spend as much time with the children as you wanted or the courts eventually ruled that limiting your time with the children was in their best interests, you currently have far less than half of the parenting time.
If you have reached a point where your circumstances are more stable or your career doesn’t demand such constant attention, you can potentially go back to the Virginia family courts and change your parenting plan.
Modifications can help you reconnect with your children
In Virginia, when your family’s circumstances change, the best custody solution may change as well. Provided that you can show a significant adjustment in your circumstances, such as moving to a different shift at work, taking parenting classes or finally getting a rental with more than one bedroom, you may be in a position to request a modification hearing.
A modification is the formal process by which you update the custody order, and it can be a great option for someone who is ready to spend more time with their children.
Modifications don’t have to be a battle
Even if the initial custody matters in your divorce were hard to resolve, you and your ex may have rebuilt your relationship by co-parenting since then. Your ex might actually agree that you are in a better situation and deserve to spend more time with the children. If the two of you can cooperate and agree on terms, you can file an uncontested modification request that the courts can review and approve.
If your ex doesn’t agree that you should be with the kids more or does not agree about the specific changes you’ve requested, then you may need to pursue a contested modification. You would provide as much evidence as possible that giving you more parenting time would be good for the children. If a judge agrees with you, then they will update your custody order accordingly.
Understanding that you have the right to pursue a post-decree modification of your custody order can help you protect your precious relationship with your children.