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After your divorce, you can request child custody modifications

Divorce has a strong sense of finality about it. That makes sense, as it is the formal and legal ending to a marital union and a family unit. However, a divorce decree is not always the final word in terms of child custody and support. Situations changes, and the Arkansas family law courts allow parents to seek modifications to their custody agreements well after the finalization of a divorce.

A modification can help you change the terms of your custody order and parenting plan. Common changes include increased visitation or parenting time, decreased access for a parent engaging in poor behavior or even changes to the amount of child support paid.

Arkansas family law knows that situations can change

There are a host of reasons why parents may request changes to custody arrangements. Sometimes, one spouse slips into a depression during a divorce. That person could simply sign off on everything the other parent wants, without asserting his or her rights. Later, when the cloud of depression lifts, that spouse realizes he or she needs to seek better terms for maintaining a relationship with the children. Other times, a parent changes jobs and needs to seek adjustments to the custody terms.

For parents who do not have any shared legal custody or visitation rights, requesting a modification may be the first step to reinstating those parental rights. In some divorces, issues like mental health problems, job loss or addiction could impact one parent's custody case. If that parent takes steps to address that issue, the courts may revisit the terms of the parenting plan or custody order in the future. Proof of a secure job, treatment for substance abuse or parenting classes could help build an argument for modifying the custody order.

Modifying child support is also possible

There are also steps that either parent can take to modify child support. In some cases, the parent with primary custody may feel that the level of support is not adequate to the child's needs. Increased educational expenses, diagnoses of serious conditions or increased income for the non-custodial parent could all impact these decisions.

Similarly, parents paying child support have the right to request modifications as well. If they experienced a decrease in income, the courts may consider reducing the amount of child support. Filing a request for a modification is always the first step.

Whether you are in need of a change to your custody agreement or child support order, modifications can help you change the initial court order. Seeking a modification can help you improve the terms surrounding your divorce and child custody arrangements.

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