A divorcing couple who shares children may spend considerable time negotiating a custody settlement when they split up or may require court intervention to create their parenting plan. Shared custody arrangements are common, but they aren’t always even.
Although California law does try to uphold the rights of both parents, sometimes one parent has far more parenting time than the other. You may have agreed to give your ex more time with the children because of the demands of your job, or the courts may have given them more parenting time for the same reason.
Being realistic about your parenting and work commitments is important for your family’s stability. Now that you work an earlier shift or have moved to a position that gives you a more regular schedule, could you ask for more parenting time?
The California family courts allow parents to request modifications
After a substantial change to your household circumstances, you have the right to request a modification of your custody order. You can potentially cooperate with your ex for an uncontested modification. The family courts can update your custody order to reflect the agreed-upon changes to your current custody arrangements.
If your ex doesn’t agree to increase your parenting time, then you may need to consider filing for a contested modification hearing. You can present evidence about your changed circumstances, including your new schedule. As long as the judge agrees that more time with you would be in the best interests of the children, they may agree to the modification request.
Updating your shared custody arrangements with a formal modification can help you protect your relationship with your children as life continues to change.