How Can I Modify My Child Custody Agreement?

When parents separate or divorce, it can be difficult to create a parenting plan that works for both parents and the child in question. Even when parents are able to reach an agreement, whether it was court-ordered or otherwise, it is very possible that it will need to be changed or modified as time goes on. However, child custody modifications in Tennessee cannot be granted without good reason.

If you believe your custody agreement needs to be modified, make sure you know if you qualify for a legal change and find out how the process works.

Modification Requirements

In order to obtain a child custody modification in Tennessee, you must be able to prove that circumstances regarding the child’s care have changed.

Some of the potential reasons for a modification in Tennessee include:

  • Parent relocation
  • The child’s circumstances have changed due to a change in age or other life events
  • Allegations of abuse or neglect of a child
  • Child support is not being paid
  • The other parent has violated the current custody or visitation plan
  • Either parent is experiencing serious health problems or other issues that impact that parent’s ability to care for the child.

Unless there is a substantial reason to modify your child custody arrangement, the court might not grant the change. However, if you have a significant reason that is not listed above, the court might still hear your case. If, for example, your child is dealing with behavioral issues that may have to do with the parent he or she is spending the majority of their time with, a custody change might be in order. Or, if either parent remarries, it might be necessary to negotiate new custody terms to better fit the new living situation.

How To Modify Child Custody

The first step to modifying your child custody or visitation arrangement is to petition the court for the change. Once the court has received your petition, you will attend a hearing where you explain why you need the custody modification. Some parents might be able to negotiate new co-parenting terms independently through mediation, while others might need the help of a judge.

Whatever your situation, our Clarksville family lawyers are here to help. We can help with general custody issues and specific co-parenting dilemmas, including those having to do with military parents, the Tennessee Parental Relocation Act, grandparents’ rights, and more.

Contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys today to discuss your child custody case today.

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