What To Do When Your Child Custody Arrangement Is Affected By A Standard Possession Schedule

Posted on: 31 March 2023


When you are going through a divorce and sorting through the custody arrangement with your children, the courts will look out for the children's best interests. However, in some cases, the courts might determine that both you and your ex are fit parents, and you will have more freedom when deciding the possession schedule of your children. However, if you cannot agree on the possession schedule, the courts might choose to issue a standard possession order.

How a Standard Possession Schedule Works

With the standard possession schedule, you will be given a straightforward plan to adhere to. However, you are not permanently locked into this agreement if you and your spouse later decide on a different arrangement. 

In some states, the possession schedule is affected by how far apart both parents live. For example, in Texas, if parents live 50 miles apart or less, the midweek stay begins when the child gets out of school on a Thursday and ends when school starts on a Friday. But it is handled differently if they live more than 51 or more miles apart. However, the judge can fine-tune the standard possession order to consider your family's needs. 

How to Modify a Custody Order

You might need to modify the existing custody order. In some cases, this is straightforward. For example, you can adjust the order if the other parent is incarcerated. However, when the other parent might dispute your attempt to modify the custody order, you should speak with a family law attorney for help.

You Must Find a Good Reason to Modify the Custody Order

One common reason to modify a custody order is if the other parent refuses to abide by the order. For example, the other parent might refuse to drop off your child when it's your turn to have custody. A family lawyer will help you gather evidence to prove this is the case and help you build a solid case for why you should be allowed to modify the custody order.

The modification of the custody order must be for a good reason. For example, if your child wants to spend more time with one parent or another, this is usually not considered a good enough reason to modify the custody order.

Filing a Petition

You must follow the correct process when petitioning to change the child custody arrangement. This must include the names of both parents and their addresses, the existing visitation order, an explanation of why you will be modifying the visitation order, and the new modification terms you will be proposing. A family law attorney can help you with each step of the process so the judge might grant your request.