Can I Modify Child Custody or Visitation Without Going to Court?

Although child custody and visitation agreements are typically comprehensive and long-term, parents may be able to propose modifications in certain circumstances. In some cases, existing agreements can be modified in New Jersey without going to court.

Modifications usually require an agreement between both parents, and you may need legal help to make the changes enforceable. When drafting modifications, take a comprehensive look at the situation and make various considerations.

What to Consider in a Child Custody or Visitation Modification

The most important factor in a custody or visitation modification is the child’s best interests, and the court will make its decisions based on this consideration. If your modification is against the best interests of the child, it will not be enforceable. This means that some modifications may be impossible to enact, regardless of whether it is in or out of court.

Next, consider the terms you and your ex-spouse want in a modification. If you cannot agree on the modification, consider what each of you may be willing to negotiate.

For instance, consider how trading weekends or school vacations may factor into a new plan. Be sure to keep an open mind and find ways to make the situation easier for you, your former partner and your child. Making these considerations can avoid rejection of the modification or court involvement.

How to Avoid Court for a Custody or Visitation Modification

The first step is creating a fair modification. As mentioned, do not ask for anything outlandish or impractical and keep the child’s best interests as the primary consideration.

Be well informed about your situation and use facts to illustrate how the modification acts in the child’s best interests. The modification can help your child in a variety of ways like limiting transportation time, enabling extracurricular activities, or reducing conflict within the family. Whatever your reason for modification, find arguments that illustrate your main points about how this will help your child.

Keep an active dialogue with your ex and try to hash out a new modification. Unfortunately, if you cannot come to an agreement on a modification, you may need to involve the court.

Do I Need A Lawyer for a Custody or Visitation Modification?

Trying to modify a custody or visitation agreement without legal help may create unenforceable changes. This would mean that your ex would not be legally responsible to follow these new requirements.

To make sure you can create and enforce a modification, speak with a NJ child custody attorney. Legal counsel can help you expedite the modification process and craft an equitable resolution. Call today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team and learn more.

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