Can My Ex And I Agree To Change Custody Without Having To Go To Court?


Oftentimes what happens after a custody order has been in place for a while with the court, the parties’ circumstances change for whatever reason and the custody agreements tend to become different than they were at the time the order was issued.  So the parents are in essence, not following a current custody order but applying a new custody and visitation schedule.

“Can my ex and I agree to change custody without having to go to court?”

THE ANSWER IS YES. Parents can absolutely change a custody order without having to go to court but both parties must agree to this change. There cannot be one party that is pushing for something different and the other party not agree. The parties still need court involvement – they just don’t have to appear in court.

This is of course, the easiest, the quickest, cheapest way to change your custody agreement. It is however, very important to have this new change made in writing and filed with the court. This helps to alleviate any possible problems. For example, if one of the parties becomes resentful, angry, for whatever reason decides to make it difficult and not continue to follow this new agreement this party can tell the court: “We never really agreed to a new custody agreement and therefore I am following the old order that was placed with the court.”

It is very important for both parties to put this agreement in writing, file it with the court and prevent any future problems from occurring. The court will recognize this new agreement and issue a new custody order based on your new agreement.

If you fail to file a new custody agreement with the court, your ex might become difficult and make things more problematic later. Avoid this risk and just file the new order with the court.

I hope this has helped to answer this question. If you have any additional questions on this topic or any other topic in family law, please go to and I’ll be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss your situation.