Each year families in Massachusetts change through marriage, the births and adoptions of children and divorce. As they grow and modify their structures families can be forced to accept new schedules and living arrangements that may not match what they are used to experiencing. These changes can be difficult for everyone, but can be especially trying on children.

A child who is subject to a custody order or agreement must accept that what their parents have established for them in terms of custody and visitation is in their best interests. They must, in some cases, travel from their parents’ homes on a regular schedule and learn to operate in a lifestyle where permanence is not necessarily the norm. While they may grow accustomed to the child custody plan that their parents develop early on, a child may find that as they age their needs from their parents also modify.

Last week this Franklin family law blog discussed the challenges that parental relocation can impose on the life and schedule of a child. Changes in parents’ lives, though, are not the only events that may necessitate reviews of existing child custody agreements and orders. A child’s developing needs and requirements may force parents to re-work the custodial plans they agreed to earlier on, before their child’s life became more complex.

Susan Rossi Cook is an advocate for children and her family law clients. She supports parents as they work to proactively improve their children’s lives through child custody and visitation agreement and order modifications. As 2017 comes to an end, she and the staff of her firm encourage individuals to take meaningful steps to serve their kids’ best interests through possible custodial and visitation schedule changes.