A child custody order explains the custody arrangement for your children and is often created during a divorce or legal separation. If your order no longer works for you and your family, you can request a child custody modification in court.
When Should You Consider Modifying Your Child Custody Order?
Here are common reasons why a parent may seek to modify an existing custody order.
- A parent is relocating: If you or your ex-spouse decides to relocate to a distant location, the court will consider changing the custody order.
- A child is in immediate danger: If abuse is suspected in the current household, the court will consider a modification.
- A parent’s work schedule changes: If either spouse’s work schedule changes, a modification may be required to ensure a child can attend school and other activities.
- A parent’s health changes: If a parent receives a diagnosis requiring medical attention, the order may need to be modified to ensure a child’s life isn’t interrupted due to medical care.
Other reasons for modifications may include the death of a parent, custody order violations, remarriage and a parent’s inability to provide childcare.
The court may not consider changing a child custody order if it appears to work. After all, they’re most concerned about what’s in the best interests of your children. If a modification will disrupt your child’s life, the court will want solid reasons why it’s a must.
The Child Custody Modification Process
If you believe you have a solid reason for modification, you must file a petition or motion to modify child custody in court. Once filed, the other parent will receive notice of the motion. The case will then reopen and follow a similar process as the original case. If you can prove your case for modification, you and your ex-spouse will receive a new custody order reflecting the changes.
We recommend reaching out to an attorney who can help you determine your options and how to best proceed.