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Seeking custody modifications after divorce

As children grow, their needs change. In some cases involving divorce, these changes warrant a modification to a custody agreement.

Receiving a modification to custody sometimes does not come easy. If you are considering seeking one, there are a few things to know about custody modifications.


There are certain grounds upon which a court will consider a custody modification. The Iowa child custody laws outline the regulation of child custody as well as modifications to custody determinations. In general, certain changes may warrant a modification, such as:

  • Custodial relocation
  • Change in child's health
  • Child is in danger

Though these are a few of the most common instances, there are other situations that may permit a modification. Usually, a custody judgment must be in place for a set amount of time before the courts will consider a modification, except in the case of emergencies.


In regards to situations where the courts may consider making a modification sooner than the usual regulated time, it may be due to a few different emergencies:

  • Child in physical harm
  • Custodial parent passing or becoming incapacitated

Such instances may allow the other parent or a de facto custodian to seek full custody of the child. Depending on the situation, the courts may grant custody for the short term or longer.


Oftentimes, the easiest way to secure a modification is to work it out with the other parent. Not only could this help to reduce time in court, but it could also decrease expenses. When both parents agree, they may make a modification by simply completing necessary paperwork and having a judge sign off on it. To aid in this process, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney to determine the best ways to achieve this goal.

As you can see, a custody modification may not always be very easy to obtain. However, in the interest of a child, it can be worth the effort.

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