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Divorce is final and agreed on 50/50 custody and shared expenses of 12 year old daughter.

Newtown, PA |

My daughter has expressed that she wants to live with me but still see her dad. She just started middle school and I think she just wants stability. The divorce happen very quickly and all during my older daughter graduating and moving away to college and my younger one having to deal with all of this happening at once. Can I modify the custody agreement and request child support. I make about $50,000.00 gross a year and he owns his own business (which does have him traveling) and makes about $150,000.00 gross per year . That number can be much higher depending on how many jobs he has. But it is basically around that amount. I believe he will not agree to this but I have already had my daughter more than him and he will start travelling more soon.

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Attorney answers 6


it is possible but there are way too many factors that go into considering what your chances are. Please speak a qualified custody attorney. If you have any more specific questions, feel free to contact us.

Michael Kuldiner, Esq. (215) 942-2100. Our Practice is focused on Divorce, Custody and Real Estate matters in Bucks County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia. For more information visit our site. This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The response is intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between MIchael Kuldiner, Esquire and any party. The responses provided on this website are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely on any information contained in these responses without first seeking the advice of an attorney.


While courts will generally applaud divorced parents who remain civil and deal in good faith as family circumstances change, they are loathe to entertain modifications so soon. When the custody agreement was reached and communicated to the court, the parties inferred that they were also in agreement that the 50/50 arrangement was in the best interests of the child. Unless something rather dramatic has occurred, most courts will conclude that nothing has changed. A change of mind on the part of anyone does not qualify. Secondly, there is the matter of the control you seem to want to concede to the child. This is not a decision for the child. This is a decision for adults to make, and when they cannot agree, for the judge. You will rue the day you empowered your child to decide. What will you then say when she wants to not go to school, or live elsewhere? Additionally, by making an issue of the incomes, your demand to change the agreed custody schedule could easily be viewed as a money ploy.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.



I may have worded that wrong. When my ex has my daughter he does not enforce the rules we agreed upon, she is out most of the time with friends and at sleepovers and really doesn't even spend time with him. He also will bad mouth me (which he has admitted) anytime either of my children try to speak with him and he disagrees with them and will say immature comments. He also travels often so we really cannot keep the schedule the same so it is like she is flip flopping on any given day due to his travelling . We are trying the set days but they are not working. And trust me....I would not allow a 12 year old to make a decision like that. I did ask him to go to counseling so we can handle the situation better and my daughter wants to go because she is having alot of trouble adjusting since so many things happened at once. He feels we do not need counselling and was always against it during our marriage but it is not fair what we are doing to her and I feel that she should be our first priority.


My colleagues have given you excellent advice. Unless there has been a major change in the custody circumstances since the agreement was reached that would warrant a change in the custody arrangment that you recent agreed upon, it is unlikely that the court will consider changing the schedule. That being said, if the father will agree to change the custody arrangments, you should speak to your attorney about preparing a Stipulation for his signature. Once the Stipulation is signed and filed with the court, you can address the support issue.

My response is based solely on the limited information contained in the question. It is not meant to substitute your attorney's advice.


Child custody is always modifiable through the Court by either party filing the appropriate petition. However in Order for the Court to consider modifying a very recent custody agreement, the Court has to believe that it is in the child's best interest to do so. Typically when an agreed order was very recently entered the Courts are not likely to modify the order unless there has been a substantial change in the circumstances. Also child support is modifiable as well, if there is a change in custody. If Father is willing to agree to the custody modification then that makes the process simpler because the parties can file a stipulation with the Court and it will then be entered as an Agreed Order. You should speak with an experienced attorney if you do decide to proceed with a modification.


Child support and custody are always subject to modification.


My colleagues have offered some good advice. However, they seem to be under the impression that you entered into this custody agreement very recently. From your question, it is not clear when the custody agreement was reached. Was it just agreed upon in the summer of 2013 or was it reached earlier than that and your daughter has just now expressed her desire to reside primarily with you? There are also many other factors that would need to be considered to determine the possibility of modifying the custody order. I recommend discussing the situation with an experienced family law attorney immediately.

W. Frank Johnson, Jr.

This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. More importantly, the information contained in this answer should not be relied on. You should consult an attorney who practices in the relevant area of the relevant jurisdiction.

Wayne Franklin Johnson Jr.

Wayne Franklin Johnson Jr.


If Father's income is $150k and yours is $50k, you are likely entitled to child support now. Even in a 50/50 shared custody situation, the lower income parent is entitled to seek child support.

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