There are many reasons why a parent might need to modify a child custody agreement. Some of the most common reasons include:
- The parents have moved to different states or counties and the current custody agreement is no longer appropriate
- One of the parents has been accused of abuse or neglect, and the other parent wants to modify custody in order to protect the child, or if a parent is involved with or living with an individual who is abusing the child
- One of the parents has had a significant change in their work schedule or income and cannot afford to support their children under the current custody arrangement
- The child has expressed a desire to live with one parent instead of both parents
- The changing needs of the child
- The other parent is not following the current Parenting Plan that is in effect
- Substance abuse by a parent
- Neglect of the child by a parent
- A previously agreed-upon custody arrangement is no longer working well for the child.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, you may need to modify your child custody agreement. Keep reading to learn more about how to do this in Tennessee.
How Can I Get a Child Custody Modification in Tennessee?
The process of modifying a child custody arrangement in Tennessee can be complicated if you don’t know where to start. The first step is to file a petition with the court that issued the original custody order. In the petition, you will need to explain why you are requesting a modification and what type of modification you are seeking.
It also depends on whether you are wanting to modify just parenting time or if you are wanting to change the primary residential parent status from parent to the other
If the other parent does not agree to the proposed changes, then the matter will go before a judge who will review both sides’ arguments and make a decision. The judge may also order mediation if he or she believes it would be beneficial for the parties involved. Ultimately, the goal is to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the child. If you have any questions about modifying your child custody agreement, please contact an experienced Tennessee family law attorney. If you are considering a child custody modification, it is important to understand the process and what you need to do in order to be successful.
In Tennessee, you are required to try to mediate the issue of changing the parenting plan if you and the other parent can not agree to do it yourself; however, sometimes when you ask the other parent to mediate the issue and that parent will not agree to go to mediation, an attorney can help you get the parenting plan modified
Can a Child Custody Lawyer Help Modify My Agreement?
If you have a child custody agreement in place and would like to modify it, you will likely need to hire a lawyer. Child custody lawyers can help by:
- Analyzing your current agreement and providing an opinion on whether or not the court is likely to grant your request for modification, depending on whether you are just wanting to modify the schedule versus modifying who is the primary residential parent
- Drafting the necessary legal documents to file with the court
- Representing you at any hearings or mediation that may be required
While you are not required to have a lawyer to modify your child custody agreement, it is generally recommended as the process can be complicated.
What is My Best Course of Action?
If you are considering modifying your child custody agreement, the best course of action is to speak with an experienced family law attorney. He or she can review your agreement and help you determine whether or not you have a good case for modification. If you do, the lawyer can then help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more by calling 615-970-6448.