In Arkansas, the courts understand that change happens. Your initial custody arrangement may not always benefit you or your children. Fortunately, you do have the option to modify your custody arrangements after different life events.
As your child’s needs change and life circumstances change, you need to consider your child’s best interests.
Significant life changes for you or the other parent
You and your former spouse should revisit the parenting plan during any major life change. For example, if you have a job opportunity that may require relocation, it could require you to request a modification to the current parenting plan. If one parent has to move, the court will determine how the move might impact the child and the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Children must continue to have visitation with the other parent. Additionally, there must be ample opportunity for communication and a continued relationship between parents and the children.
The physical absence of one parent
Children do not thrive in an environment where one parent consistently cancels visitation arrangements. When a parent cancels visitation regularly and never makes up for it, it can make kids feel abandoned by one parent. Children may go out of their way to try to please one parent, fearful that he or she might leave. You may consider requesting a change to the visitation schedule to protect your children from disappointment. Every cancellation is a reminder of the parent’s abandonment of the children.
Kids require stability; if the custody arrangement no longer lends itself to stability, you need to modify it.