Most parents in Pennsylvania put a lot of time, thought and effort into creating their child custody agreements. Unfortunately, life changes and parents may encounter issues that make their current arrangements difficult. Conversely, they may simply be dissatisfied with the current custody arrangement and want to seek a modification. Here are a few things to keep in mind when going down this path.
Do not stop child support payments
If a parent who pays child support feels that he or she does not have enough parenting time, it may be tempting to stop payments altogether. While the thought process is that stopping payments will force the custodial parent to give the other parent more time with the child, this is rarely the outcome. In fact, stopping child support payments even reflects badly in court and may lower a parent’s chances of securing more custody. Instead, it is better to pursue a modification through the court while keeping up with support payments.
Do not ignore legal custody
Even when parents do not share physical custody of their children, they often share legal custody. Legal custody gives parents the ability to make important decisions on a child’s behalf. Some parents do not share legal custody well though, and may end up fighting about certain decisions more often than not. Before overruling a parent with joint legal custody about any of the following matters, consider whether it might be appropriate to seek a modification for sole legal custody:
- Religious upbringing
- Medical care
Continuing to parent with an ex-spouse can be a challenge in even the best of situations. The good news is that many Pennsylvania parents rise to the occasion by focusing on their children’s best interests. When one parent is no longer capable of doing so, it may be time to seek a modification of a child custody agreement.