How to Handle a Change in Custody

A change in custody can be exciting and scary. Of course, one’s perspective depends on what is happening. If you are losing custody then there are a whole host of emotions that go into such a dramatic change. If you are winning custody then excitement and uncertainty may be the emotions you struggle with. Regardless of which side you are on when there is a change in custody there is a huge change in how things get done. Here are three big picture issues that you must focus on whenever there is a change in custody in order to impact positively on the child(ren).

#1: Prepare for a transition: A transition time is important. Any time you, as an adult, have a big life change you need some time to reflect and get used to a new situation. As an adult you can handle and understand the stress that comes with such changes. These feelings are compounded when dealing with a child. Be prepared for a transition period because a change in custody impacts tremendously on the child.

#2: Get information: Whenever a change in custody occurs, it’s important for you to get information. Again, this is regardless of whether you are getting or losing custody. You will need information about school choices, start times, bed times, disciplinary processes, etc. Imagine going from one day with an empty house to now dropping someone in your house full time. That is a huge change that can bring a lot of disruption for you and the other person. Fortunately, it involves your child, but still, staying up to date with information is very important to make a change of custody work. Communication with the child, the other parent, and other important adult figures.

#3: Communicate with Others: Another big picture challenge with a change in custody is communication with others. The “others” we refer to are teachers, doctors, dentists, school officials, coaches, therapists, etc. Your status has changed and you must now communicate that to these people. Just as you and the child will have to prepare for and go through a transition these secondary adults in the child’s life will also have to transition to a new situation involving the custody issues pertaining to your child(ren). Make it easy on the child and the other important adults in the child’s life by communicating what is happening.

These are just a few of the issues we see arising for people who face a change in custody. To learn more about how our custody experts can help you contact the Justice Legal Group at or call us at 505-880-8737.