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Can I modify my child custody agreement over the holidays?

After your divorce was finalized, the court established a child custody plan and visitation schedule that you and your ex-spouse must abide by. However, real life is complicated, and your plans may change, especially around the holidays. Do you and your ex-spouse have to abide by the custody arrangement as written, or can you modify it?

Modifying the arrangement in court

You may want to permanently and officially alter your child custody arrangement so that you won’t have to worry about modifying it again in future years. If this is the case, sit down with your ex-spouse and negotiate a modified custody arrangement. An experienced family law attorney can assist you with these negotiations.

Child looking in a Christmas Present

Put your new agreement in writing. Be sure to include all relevant details, including who will be responsible for picking up and dropping off the children. Make sure that both you and your ex-spouse sign the agreement, and that you each have a copy, so that you can avoid any potential disputes down the road. Then, you should submit your new arrangement to the court for approval.

Family courts in Michigan seek the best interest of the children involved when deciding whether to approve a child custody order. Thus, as long as the court agrees that your new proposed custody arrangement serves your children’s best interests, they are likely to approve it.

Modifying the arrangement out of court

You might simply want to change your usual arrangement for a specific weekend or event, without having to go through the process of formally modifying your custody agreement in court. If you and your ex-spouse are on relatively friendly terms, you may be able to come to an agreement concerning holiday plans in a more informal manner.

It’s still a good idea to get your agreement in writing, and signed by both parents, so that you will have proof of the terms of your agreement if a conflict ever arises. As long as you are both willing to abide by the new arrangement, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Child custody and visitation can be some of the most contentious parts of life after divorce. Hopefully, you will be able to navigate the holiday season without conflict, so that you and your children can make happy holiday memories together.