The status of the upcoming school year is subject to changes based on current conditions. That can likely affect — and perhaps even up-end — the custody arrangements that you and your ex have in place. To avoid future trouble, it’s a good idea to begin reviewing your options to see how much flexibility you have.
Some co-parents are able to informally adapt their custody plans as necessary to accommodate any pending changes. For instance, a father may be working remotely now and be in a better position to assume more child-rearing duties than in the past. If the co-parents get along well enough, they can work together to tweak their custody arrangements to meet their children’s needs and their own work commitments.
But it’s not always that easy
Of course, not all co-parents are in a good enough place to work together seamlessly to solve custody dilemmas. Even when they are, not all will have the flexibility to adapt on the fly when changes need to be made in the custody arrangements stated in the Order. What can these frazzled parents do to work it out?
Seek a custody modification
While custody orders should be followed, they are not written in stone. Family law courts understand that circumstances change, problems develop, kids grow older. All of those factors can cause a need for a custody modification.
Will the courts grant it?
When deciding whether to legally modify the child custody arrangements, the courts determine whether there were substantial changes that affect the custody situation. For instance, the death or relocation of one parent would be a substantial change that occurred.
You might also argue that one parent being an essential worker and the other allowed to work remotely from home should the schools remain closed this fall is another substantial change requiring a modification.
Should you seek a modification?
When dealing with something as important as the well-being of your child(ren), you must be vigilant to assure that their needs are always met. Even co-parents who appear to get along well together can have disputes. If the problem should escalate, an informal agreement bears no weight with the court. They will use the order that’s in place to base any rulings until it has been modified.
Your San Jose family law attorney can offer advice and guidance should you decide to seek a modification in your child custody arrangements.