In order to do so, you will need to provide grounds for a child custody modification by filing a petition citing that a significant change in circumstances has taken place. If one parent later does not follow the agreement, the other parent can return to court to have it enforced. Both types of custody can be shared between the parents. Once a judge has issued a child custody order, the agreement is legally binding—meaning that unless a child custody modification has been approved by the court, both parents must abide by the terms of that agreement. © 2020 Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney at Law. If you are determined to try to change your current child custody arrangements without the help of an attorney and without going to court, here are the problems that will arise: The court can only enforce the original order. Your lawyer will file a petition in family court explaining what you want and also legally justify why you should get it. Can custody issues be decided without going to court? The short answer to this question is "YES." Parents who get along in an amicablefashion, may be able to agree on a written custody agreement by drafting anagreement themselves. This petition must be made in the NJ county where the child resides, not where you reside if different. Can I Modify My Custody Arrangement Without Going to Court? You would need a power of attorney in order to act on behalf of the child, i.e. If you continued to operate under the new agreement without the consent of the other parent, that parent would have the full support of the court and you would be in the wrong. ADR is not a custody trial. If the terms of the initial child custody order are not legally modified by a judge, you have no grounds to enforce the new agreement. The child lives with that person. While this is an option – as long as you and the other parent can agree on a new solution – you should be aware of the potential pitfalls: The only way to ensure that your rights are protected is to modify your custody agreement through the courts. Sure, the problem is that without a court order your daugther is still legally reponsible for the child. However, if you decide to make changes to the child custody arrangement without an attorney and without going to court, there will be no legal document binding the parties to those changes. If the parents are in agreement, the court almost always agrees with the decision of the parents. See Here. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. A parent may feel that depriving their ex-spouse of custody is in the best interests of their child for any number of reasons, among them: While again, it is possible to change custody arrangements without going to court, it is unlikely that a parent would give up custody willingly, and there would be no way of enforcing your agreement if he or she did initially agree to give up custody but later had a change of heart. Usually these are readily accepted. But, if you and your partner can't agree on how to change it, you can start a family law court … To change the custody agreement without going to court, file the modification of child custody as normal. Agreements about custody, access, and parenting can't be changed by a court. When you modify your custody agreement through the court system, you ensure that your rights can be enforced. All rights reserved. If not, you can file papers yourself asking for a modification. 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