When it comes to child custody disputes, family courts will always prioritize the best interests and wellbeing of the children involved. As such, modifications to custody orders are not taken lightly. Stability and consistency are considered crucial elements in a child’s life, so you must prove a substantial change in circumstances to receive a modification of your child custody order. If you and your co-parent agree to modify the child custody agreement, this will simplify the process considerably, but you must still have this modification approved by the court to ensure it is enforceable.
When Can I Modify the Child Custody Order?
There are several circumstances in which a judge may consider modifying a child custody and visitation order.
You must prove the following for a judge to consider your request:
- It is in the best interests of the children
- There was a substantial change in circumstances
If there was a substantial change in circumstances, but the modification does not serve the best interests of the children, a judge will not grant your request.
Below are some examples of what a judge will consider a substantial change in circumstances:
- One or both parents are experiencing considerable difficulties complying with the current parenting plan
- The children are in danger in the parent’s home
- A parent is relocating and the move will benefit the children
- The needs of the children changed
- The children are starting school and, at the time of the order, they were not in school
- One parent is attempting to alienate their children from their other parent
- A parent’s work schedule changed
- The children wish to spend more time with the noncustodial parent
- The noncustodial parent moved closer to the custodial parent
The above list is not exhaustive, so even if none of these apply to your situation, you might still be able to have your child custody order modified. Additionally, if your children’s custodial parent passed away, you will also need to modify the child custody order. Generally, family courts will allow the noncustodial parent to assume full responsibility for the children, but there are some circumstances in which other options may be considered. To ensure your parental rights are protected, you must hire a family law attorney.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney Today!
If your current custody order or parenting plan is no longer suitable for your family, you must hire skilled legal representation as soon as possible to request a modification. At Darnell & Darnell Associates, Attorneys at Law, our child custody attorneys have over 90 years of combined experience, which we will use to your advantage. We understand how sensitive these legal issues are and will dedicate our care and attention to your concerns, so you can achieve your goals and move forward.
Take the first step toward modifying your child custody order today and reach out to our law office at (931) 240-2752 to set up a free initial consultation with a compassionate member of our family law team.