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Why parents might request a child custody modification

There are a number of reasons that separated or divorced parents in North Carolina might need to request a child custody modification. Since courts attempt to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child, if a modification is determined to fulfill that criteria, the custody schedule may be changed.

If a parent believes the child is in danger, there may also be a child custody modification. The court will consider whether there has been domestic violence, whether the child is in immediate danger and whether the child is unwilling to stay in the home. A parent's move to another location might necessitate a change in custody. A court will take the parent's reason for moving into account as well as how it will change the custody schedule and the degree to which it will disrupt the child's life. The court will also consider whether the parents already have a plan in place for modifying the schedule.

When one parent does not stick to the agreement made for the custody schedule, the court might look at why this is the case and how parents have communicated about it before making a change. The death of a custodial parent usually results in the child being placed with the other parent unless the child has other wishes or the parent's work schedule prevents it.

During the emotional process of a divorce, parents may struggle with negotiations over child custody. However, negotiating an agreement is usually a better way of creating a healthy foundation for co-parenting than going through a prolonged court battle. Parents who must go to court may want to discuss strategies for the court appearance with an attorney. One factor judges will look at is how well parents cooperate with one another, and they usually will not consider blocking the other parent's access in the child's best interests.

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