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Child Custody

Changing and Updating Parenting Agreements

As it is with life, things come up, changes happen, people move and as a result you may find you need to make changes to your initial agreements. We aim to create agreements that last, but we know life happens. Regardless of whether your first agreement was done by us or someone else, we can help you find a solution and make the appropriate changes to match the new coming changes in your life.

There are several reasons why you might find yourself wanting to change an agreement. For instance, you may find that your current parenting agreement isn't working out as initially planned. or maybe you or your spouse are getting remarried. In other cases it may be that your partner is not fulfilling or has become unable to fulfill their obligations. Sometimes you find out that the agreement is not meeting your child's needs. It could be that your spouse or yourself needs to move for work or any other number of reasons and now you need to decide who gets to keep the child. In any of these cases you will want to make changes to your parenting agreement.

Making Changes to a Parenting Agreement

If both parties are cooperative, changing an agreement can be fairly simple and is a matter of negotiating and coming to agreements on any new terms, or changes to terms, within the current parenting agreement. On the other hand, if both parties cannot come to an agreement, resulting disputes can be settled either through mediation or collaborative law or if necessary in lengthy courtroom battles. The benefit of choosing the route of mediation or collaborative law is that they ensure both sides are heard and both parents receive support. However, in situations when court is necessary rest assured that we will have your back.

Relocation Issues

Although there are many reasons for keeping a parenting agreement up to date, relocation is one aspect that raises more issues than others. According to the Family Law Act, if you are planning on moving in the near future, you need to give notice of your intentions at least 60 days prior to your move. This you must do regardless of whether you are wanting to take the children with you or not. The reason being that children do best developmentally when both parents are involved in their lives and the law recognizes this. It also gives adequate time to make any necessary changes to the parenting agreement.

If your spouse has given you notice that they will be moving, you have 30 days from the initial notice date to object the move. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can prevent them from moving away. The court will considered several factors before making a decision, the most important factor being whether or not the move will be in the child's best interests. Other factors considered by the court include but are not limited to:

  • If the move is in good faith. Is the reason for moving one that helps the child's well being. For example moving to obtain a higher paying job to provide a higher standard of living for the child. Moving a child to separate them from a parent is not considered acceptable.
  • If there has been a relationship between the non moving parent and the child and how the move will affect this relationship.
  • If there are reasonable means for the child to maintain contact with the non moving parent or moving parent depending on if the child will be moving or not. Such means might include video calls, cell phones or regular visits to the other parent.

We will strive to find a harmonious solution that works for everyone, but if that isn't the case we will be prepared to take your case to court if necessary to protect your agreement.

Child Taken without your Consent

If your child and or spouse moved without giving notice contact us. We can take immediate steps to enforce your parenting agreement. Moving without notice can have serious penalties including criminal charges. We will ensure your child is returned to safety and determine if the existing agreement can be dissolved based on misconduct.

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