Divorce is a complicated process, and often it can happen fairly quickly, even though it seems like it takes forever. During that process you have to make a lot of choices regarding the care of your children, but sometimes those choices don’t work out in the long run. When you’re deciding to make a change to your child custody agreement, you need to have a few things in mind.

Reasons to Request a Change

There are several reasons to request a custody change. It’s a good idea to be sure about the change before starting the process as it can be difficult and time consuming to get from start to finish.

One of the main reasons for requesting a custody change is if one parent relocates. If you lived closer to the other parent but are moving away or vice versa, it may be a good time to change the custody agreement. If your child’s needs have changed, you may need a custody modification as well. And if your situation changes, from work or for another reason, you may need to request a change to make a schedule that works better for you.

It’s Still Up to the Court

It’s important to understand upfront that any changes to the custody agreement will need to go through court and be decided by the legal system in your area. There are multiple factors the law takes into account when deciding how child custody will be awarded. It is easiest to help a child custody modification go through if both parents are in agreement about the change and you have a new schedule planned out that will work for everyone. That said, the final decision comes to the court as it is their responsibility to ensure children are properly cared for.

It Can Be a Complicated Process

Changing the custody arrangements for your children can be a long and complicated process. Knowing that in advance can help you plan accordingly. It can be tempting to just casually change the custody arrangement unofficially but going through the court process protects you and your children in the case of any problems coming up in the future. Prepare yourself for the process. Work to come to a solution so you can receive the changes you need through the court system.

Choosing to modify your custody agreement can be complicated. But if it’s the right choice for you and your children, then you should take the steps to make it happen.

Read this next: 5 Things About Family Law You Didn’t Know