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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 01-17-2017, 07:18 PM
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Default material change re: custody vs material change re: access

I have been struggling on this concept for a bit. What exactly distinguishes a material change re: custody vs a material change re: access? What are some examples?

Is a change in a parent's lifestyle a material change for custody or access? i.e., change in work shift, work hours, type of work? If a parent is working as a stripper, escort, etc ?

Is a relevant passage of time change a custody change or access change, or both? I know there are cases where the custody order was changed because the order was wrapped around the child's tender age with no thought given on the child attending school as well as the sharing of the holidays, etc.

Really trying to understand how they are distinguished and how they can be the same. I know the case law is that once a material change is established, then the court is to embark on a fresh inquiry as to what is in the best interests of the child without giving the custodial parent the upper hand - or something to that extend. But I know that a material change can't be for both custody and access at other times. Very confused.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:19 PM
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Custody is decision-making power. Who makes decisions about where the child will live, go to school, medical decisions, decisions about religious issues?

Access (residence) is time spent with the child. How much time does the child spend with each parent?

A person can have shared custody even if the child resides most of the time with the other parent. In order to request a custody change, you would have to show that the other parent is unwilling or incapable of making decisions with respect to the child. Being a stripper or an escort does not affect decision-making ability. If your ex is a stripper/escort, you may disagree with her occupational choice but that does not mean she is incapable of participating in decision-making. A material change that would justify changing custody would have to be something pretty major, like brain damage or moving to the other side of the world with no internet access. I believe the bar is set lower for changes to residence/access.
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Old 01-17-2017, 11:02 PM
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good information. helps.

Last edited by trinton; 01-17-2017 at 11:13 PM.
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