There are times after a Massachusetts divorce or paternity case there exists significant changes in circumstances that warrant a modification of the child custody arrangement.
Here are examples of when the child’s present environment with the custodial parent may seriously endanger their mental and emotional health:
- Noncustodial parent’s beneficial remarriage (Spouse is a Navy veteran, works outside the home while I work from home, and we have put down roots in a small town and bought a house there. We plan to stay in our house beyond the children’s entry into adulthood)
- Improvement in noncustodial parent’s home surroundings (See above + low crime rate)
- Custodial parent’s interference with, frustration of, and partial denial of noncustodial parent’s parenting rights (He has said to me “You don’t exist when the kids are with me.”)
- Children’s school issues – Sarah has an IEP stating that she suffers from ADD and depression, Nathan’s grades are dropping, and both children have numerous absences from school in the past year.
- Custodial parent and his spouse’s alienation of child’s affection from noncustodial parent
- Custodial parent’s detrimental remarriage – he and his spouse speak disparagingly about the other party, she treats the children unequally, and she does not allow the children contact with other parent when custodial parent is not home
- Custodial parent’s lack of communication with noncustodial parent and unwillingness to foster children’s relationship with noncustodial parent
- Custodial parent’s disregard for joint legal custody provision of decree; he makes major unilateral decisions without consulting noncustodial parent and notifies ‘after the fact’
- Custodial parent has neglected to take Sarah for counseling, even though her IEP indicates it would be beneficial. Sarah also missed school on April 15, 2016 for a dentist appointment, as her stepmother was to take her to that appointment and never did.
- The children are significantly older since original decree, and their needs have changed.
- Custodial parent’s negative behavior – uses children as pawns in disputes
- Custodial parent’s ability to spend time with children – He is often at work, and the children are left with stepmother, spending little time with father.
- Noncustodial parent’s ability to spend time with children – I work at home, and thus will always be available to the children and will be the “at-home” parent.
Custodial parent and his wife exhibit the following symptoms of ‘hostile-aggressive parenting’:
- Speaking disparagingly about noncustodial parent and spouse in front of the children
- Frustrate normal and healthy telephone communication by supervising phone talk with children
- Are uncooperative when it comes to working out summer and holiday schedules for children – they interpret vague areas of the parenting agreement on the side of minimal visitation for the other parent
- Insist that the children be returned precisely on time while not respecting these same rules themselves
- Not allow the child to be with or communicate with the other parent on Mother’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions
- Places blame on other parent for conflicts with children after parenting time (it is suspected the children are interrogated when they return to custodial parent’s home after visitation)
Should you be considering modifying your current custody agreement, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.