Life has a way of changing unexpectedly, especially in the aftermath of a major shift in your life like a divorce. Changes in your job responsibilities, interpersonal relationships and schedule due to shared custody can all impact the rest of your life.

However, changes in your professional and personal life could also impact what custody arrangements will work best for your family. While you might feel tempted to just reach an informal agreement with your ex regarding changes to your custody schedule, such informal changes could actually leave you vulnerable to both missed parenting time and the overpayment of child support.

Informal modifications leave the power with your ex

Whether you want to change the custody guidelines because you can’t make it to the school to pick the kids up or because your circumstances have changed and you can spend more time with the kids now, failing to enshrine those changes in your custody arrangements through a court-authorized modification could mean that your ex could use to revert to the previous scenario at any point.

Not only could you wind up accused of neglect or abandonment for failing to pick your kids up on a day that you had informal arrangements for your ex to do so, but you could also wind up paying more in child support than you should, especially if you’re taking your kids overnight more frequently. Asking for a formal modification will help ensure that you get that extra time with your kids and that the rest of your divorce documents reflect the updated custody scenario.