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Is is legal to modify your own custody agreement without a lawyer? Ex and I had a custody agreement basically I get primary residential and he gets joint decision making (
I don't think he's ever made a joint decision with me, he doesn't really take an active role in that aspect)

Anyways so we have an order by a judge that's yyeearrrss old. I want to modify it that I have sole physical and sole decision making. Can I do that? Can I just have a lawyer draw it up and would it be legally binding if it was notarized and not signed by a judge? Would I have to get it signed by a judge since the previous order was?

Basically, the bottom line is that he's getting married, he's slowly becoming very inactive as a father and I"m more than okay with that. Were doing great on our own. Only problem is that before he totally neglects her (to the point where she as the child catches on), I want to move out of state. The only reason we're staying in this state is for his visitation and he sporadically takes advantage of it. They stopped overnights a few months ago b/c she's scared of his house, it's just snowballing and I want an available out. I fully know that if i were to present this to a judge, there are no grounds for changing it. I'm hoping to appeal to him and ask him to do this for the sake of DD

I don't know how this stuff works because we've settled everything out of court for such a long time.
 

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If he agrees to it, even if you do have to get it signed by a judge, chances are there wouldn't be a problem. If you and he agree and get it written up by a lawyer and both sign it, I honestly doubt a judge would even read it. I'm thinking back to my divorce here, when I and my paperwork were in front of the judge a whole thirty seconds, and that's not enough time to review anything. Just be damned sure he'd agree to it.
 

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Yes, so long as he agrees, you don't need a lawyer, but you DO want to have a judge sign an amended parenting plan/custody order. Otherwise, if your ex backs out/changes his mind about your new agreement, the judge's original order will still control.

Your challenge will be if he does not agree. Then, it is probably worth paying for an hour consultation with a family law attorney (post here or in your tribal areas for recommendations) to assess what might be the strongest grounds for seeking modification that is not by agreement with your ex.
 

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You two can do whatever you want, basically. The custody is only there for enforcement's sake - if either one of you thinks custody is going unfairly. But if you're both in agreement, it doesn't matter.

Right after our divorce, my ex and I agreed that the custody and visitation in our divorce decree was not what either of really wanted. So we changed it ourselves.

I highly recommend that you pay for a lawyer's advice on how to get the wording exactly right so that it would hold up legally. For example, if you two agree to the terms, have it notarized, but do not use the words "we waive our right to counsel", (I'm paraphrasing - I don't remember the exact words), it might not be legal in your state. At any rate, once you and he sign something in front of a notary, one of you needs to file it with a judge to make it legal, if that's what you want. If it's not legal, it won't be enforced.

Now, years later, we pretty much work it out ourselves without drawing a new legal agreement everytime we change it, but I do think it's good to get your agreement legalized if possible - especially the big parts like how you agree on physical and legal custody.
 
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