When a custody agreement is first created during a divorce, one parent will likely have the child more than 50-percent of the time. This parent is considered to have physical or legal custody, meaning that they spend the majority of the time with the child and make all of the important decisions regarding the child’s life. These decisions can be anything from what religion the child does or does not practice, where the child goes to school, what the child eats, and any other decision about the child’s life, whether it is a significant decision or not.
Though the custody arrangement was agreed upon at the time of the divorce, circumstances may change and the parents may realize that it is the in the child’s best interest if the non-custodial parent takes over. This can be a difficult decision for parents of a child to make but sometimes, it is necessary. You can return to court or mediation to make a change in the custody agreement. The parent requesting the change will have to petition for the new agreement if you have decided to go through the court to request a change in the custody arrangement.
It is important to understand that when you request a change in custody agreements, you have to be prepared for the idea that the other parent may not be interested in making this change. This can bring a long battle in court over the custody of the child and the court will ultimately have to rule what is in the best interest of the child. If neither parent can agree and neither one of them can accept the responsibility of taking care of the child, perhaps a grandparent or other relative will have to step up and be appointed as the child’s sole legal guardian. There are many situations in which this happens but every case is different so it is important that you discuss any change in custody with an experienced family law and child custody attorney to walk you through this process.
<strong><em>Judith Goldberg, Esq. is a family law attorney that serves the greater Connecticut area with quality legal services. If you need an attorney to guide you through your legal matter, contact The Law offices of Judith Goldberg.</em></strong>