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Before you seek a custody modification, read this

After a divorce, you may not have the burden of living under the same roof as your ex-spouse, but you are forever linked as parents. This means that the problems with co-parenting that you may have had during your marriage may not go away. As such, a frustrated parent may want to seek court intervention to set a troubling parent straight.

However, before filing a motion to modify custody, or a request to limit parenting time, a frustrated parent must understand that courts are reluctant to get involved with certain issues between parents. This post will identify a few. 

Religious differences – A parent who insists that the children should not participate in a particular religion may have difficulty convincing a court that the kids are in some type of danger of being manipulated. Courts are sensitive to a parent’s First Amendment right to practice a particular religion, and this freedom extends to including children in such practices.

Care by significant others – In the same vein, courts generally will not intervene if a parent’s new girlfriend or boyfriend is watching the children when the parent is at work (or is running errands). If there is some specific issue that creates significant harm to the child (such as a substance abuse problem) a court may make changes.

Entertainment choices – If you only let kids watch shows on Disney Junior, and your ex-spouse lets them watch WWF wrestling, chances are that a court will not intervene to critique entertainment choices.  Family court judges expect parents to respect each other’s choices when it comes to entertainment, even if they may not like them.

The preceding is not legal advice. If you have questions about custody modifications, an experienced family law attorney can advise you. 

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