How to Void a Custody Agreement

By Anna Green

Generally, parents cannot fully void a child custody agreement so that no formal order is in place. Instead, parents who are unhappy with an existing child custody agreement must create a modified order and submit it to the court for approval. The exact process for proposing a new child custody order varies from state to state. Thus, it is important for parents to review and understand their respective state laws governing child custody matters before preparing a new custody agreement.

Uncontested Custody Agreements

Step 1

Reach an agreement with the other parent regarding the new custody terms. In many instances, parents can minimize court involvement if they can mutually agree on a new custody agreement. If the parents are able to negotiate the new terms on their own, they should begin the modification process by outlining their new agreement in writing.

Step 2

Include language explicitly stating the new custody order replaces the old one. Provide information about the initial agreement, including the date it was enacted and the name of the court that put the agreement into effect.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Format your agreement according to state requirements. Each jurisdiction has its own rules for how to format a child custody agreement. To ensure the new agreement complies with state law, you may want to use a template or sample agreement. You can find sample agreements through the clerk of court or an online legal document provider.

Step 4

Execute the document. If both parents agree to the new custody agreement, both should sign and date the document. Some jurisdictions may require you to sign the agreement in the presence of a notary public.

Step 5

File your agreement with the clerk of the court. In most instances, parents will need to file the new agreement in the same court that entered the initial custody order, unless they have moved out of state or have not had ties with that location for a significant amount of time. If you have an existing case number from a previous custody matter or divorce, you may be required to file the agreement under this docket number.

Step 6

Attend the hearing. In some jurisdictions, families will need to attend a hearing in front of a judge, who will review the new order and determine whether it is acceptable.

Contested Custody Agreements

Step 1

Consult a professional mediator. In situations where parents cannot reach a mutually agreeable custody arrangement, the court may require the parties to meet with a professional mediator before hearing the case. If the parents cannot reach an agreement through mediation, the court may need to decide the terms of the new custody arrangement through a trial.

Step 2

File a motion requesting a new custody agreement. If you have worked with a mediator and still cannot reach an agreement, in many courts, you will then need to file a motion with the court asking a judge to create a new custody order that overrides the old one.

Step 3

Present evidence to the judge indicating why the new custody arrangement is necessary. The judge will decide what custody arrangement is in the child’s best interest. Such evidence might include proof that the custodial parent is abusing or neglecting the child or otherwise not meeting the child’s physical, emotional or developmental needs.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Amend a Child Custody Decree



Related articles

What a Judge Looks at in Custody Hearing in Illinois

Custody disputes may be a highly contentious and emotional issue for recently divorced parents. In making a custody determination, Illinois courts look at evidence that shows what is in the best interest of the child. To help in this determination, the court may appoint individuals to represent the child's interests. However, custody orders may not be permanent, and either parent has the right to request modification of a custody order if the circumstances change.

Pennsylvania State Regulations About Proximity of Parents to Children in Divorce

Child custody and divorce cases can be highly contentious for both parties. Some parents wish to move away to avoid the stress of contact with the other parent. And, in some cases, the parent may want to move to limit the parent's contact with the child. This can be damaging to the child, and Pennsylvania custody decisions are made according to the child's best interests. Consequently, parents who wish to relocate must follow a specific procedure, and the court will not always permit relocation of the child.

Easy Ways to Change the Custody of Parents in Wisconsin

If parents end their relationship, they must often continue to interact as the co-parents of their children. Although parents might not always get along or may disagree with their current custody arrangement, they can more easily change their custody arrangement by coming to an agreement on their own and avoiding court intervention. If parents have a contested custody battle in a Wisconsin circuit court, the custody process may become more difficult and time-consuming.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Cohabitation and Custody Under Arkansas Law

If parents have a custody dispute, they may need guidance through a court order. In Arkansas, custody laws require a ...

The Proper Steps in a Custody Battle

Custody battles erupt over legal custody, physical custody and child support of a child. You can file a petition for ...

How to Petition the Court for Custody

Custody of a child generally gives an adult the right to provide for the minor's daily care and education. This custody ...

Can a Kansas Divorce Judgment Be Modified?

Your divorce decree provides a guide for you and your former spouse as you continue with life after divorce. It sets ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED