My question involves a child custody case from the State of: VA

My daughter's father has not seen her, spoken to her, or asked about her since July 2018. We are currently in a court process because he is not paying child support and the child support department actually took him court. He did not show up for the first court date so we have another one in January. The judge told me if he doesn't show again a warrant for his arrest would be sent out.

I have to make changes to our custody agreement because of his absence. At this point, I need to make sure I am and also my daughter is taken care of in regards to decision making.

Will it make a difference if I wait with the custody changes? Or should I also get them started asap? I ave texted, called and emailed him plenty of time throughout the past year and he either does not respond at all or I get a short text message. If I do get a court date to make changes to our custody agreement, and he does not show up again, will it not be possible to make any changes? Or will I still be able to make changes as needed?

Any advice is appreciated.