Helping Clients Navigate A Course To A Better Future

What can you do if the other parent wants to change the custody schedule?

When you have a custody plan that works, the last thing you want to do is change it in a way that makes life more difficult for you. That’s why you were so surprised when your ex-spouse decided to ask for modification.

Right now, you both share custody almost equally. You alternate every other week, and your children seem happy and stable. Your ex-spouse hasn’t had any major change in their work, yet they are asking to completely upend the entire schedule.

What can you do?

The first thing to do is to talk to your ex-spouse about why they want this change. Maybe they are worried that your children are going back and forth too often, and they feel that a custody schedule that switches every two weeks would be more appropriate.

Maybe they are seeing a new partner, and because that partner also has children, they would like to adjust the custody schedule to make sure there are days with and without your children there when those children are to prevent jealously or other conflicts.

Getting to the bottom of why the request has been made is your first step. Then, you have some options if you don’t want to make the change to the custody schedule they want. Those options might include:

  1. Talking to your ex about why the change won’t work for you
  2. Getting your attorney involved to refuse the request and defend against it in court
  3. Bringing up your own suggestion for a schedule that may work for you and be good for your children
  4. Discussing the changes with your children (if they’re old enough) and finding out what their preferences would be

It is not uncommon for people to change their custody schedules over time. Your children’s lives, as well as your own, will change and there will need to be some flexibility in the custody schedule. That said, if you are uncomfortable with the request or a new schedule won’t work for you, you may have an opportunity to refuse the changes and to do your best to stay on the current schedule.