The process of developing, negotiating, and agreeing to a custody arrangement can be stressful, tiresome, and anxiety provoking. With all of these tough emotions, it may be tempting to agree to a custody arrangement with the intention to alter it down the road when conflict settles. Although that may be a good way to avoid negative confrontation or temporarily resolve dispute, once a custody agreement is ordered it is very difficult, if not impossible, to alter. Therefore, the original terms of the custody agreement are very important.

When two parents agree to custody arrangements, they are agreeing that except in specific circumstances the terms are set for the duration of when they have custody of the child, i.e., until the child graduates high school. The court will only revisit the agreement if there has been material and substantial changes that make the agreement no longer in the best interest of the child. The court does not consider minor or previously contemplated changes as valid reason for modification, making it appropriate only in limited circumstances.

Because it is uncommon for a court to find that modification is warranted, it is difficult for the parent who is requesting a change to prove that it is necessary. To avoid future conflict and adversity, it is important that the original agreement is intentional and meaningful.

The attorneys at Simpson, Jensen, Abels, Fisher & Bouslog, P.C. are experienced in handling complex child custody matters. Contact us at (515) 288-5000 to discuss your case with our firm.

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