Once you create a child custody agreement, the idea is you stick to it. That does not mean you can never deviate from it, but hopefully, as the bitterness of the initial dispute fades into the difference, you can talk most things out between you. For example, the agreement says you have the kids on weekends, but you must travel for work this weekend. The court will be happy for you to sort that out yourselves.
Yet sometimes, you need to go back to court to seek a custody modification. For example:
1. You need to move from the area
Let’s say you work in theater and have been offered a fantastic position with a Broadway company. If you wish to take your child with you, that will severely restrict your co-parent’s ability to see the child unless they too leave California.
2. Your co-parent is not sticking to the agreement
If your co-parent is ignoring the custody agreement to the detriment of you and your child, you may need to ask the court to either order them to abide by it or adapt it in your favor.
3. Your co-parent is endangering your child
If the other parent is abusing your child mentally or physically, you need to ask the court to take action. It may also be required if the danger does not come directly from the co-parent but from those they live with. For instance, if they have a new partner who is violent toward your child or have moved to a block of flats full of drug addicts.