When life circumstances change, your custody arrangements may need to change too. Especially if you currently don’t have very much parenting time or have visitation instead of shared custody, when your life starts getting better, you may want to ask for more time with your children.
Your divorce decree isn’t written in stone. The Massachusetts family courts do allow parents to request modifications of the initial custody order if there has been a significant change in the family’s circumstances.
How do you prove a change in circumstances?
Securing a modification involves requesting a hearing and then showing the courts proof of a change that necessitates an adjustment of the custody order. Proving that your situation is different from what it was at the time of the divorce proceedings will require different documentation depending on what influenced the court’s custody decision.
If you were struggling financially, documentation of increased wages and proof that you now have a rented a safe place to live could be enough to convince the courts that you can take your children overnight.
If addiction or mental health issues were the root cause of the imbalance in the custody outcome, paperwork that shows you have completed anger management courses, rehabilitation, addiction therapy or parenting courses could all help you convince the courts that you are now ready for the responsibilities involved in caring for your children.
Modifications should benefit the children
The Massachusetts family courts want to do what’s best for the children. Provided that you can show a commitment toward parenting and addressing the issues that concern the courts, they will likely support you as you try to be more present in the lives of your kids.