Circumstances change, and a child custody order that worked before may not make sense when kids are older, or one parent has moved. Custody orders can be changed, but you will need a reason to petition the court for new orders. It is important to understand that either parent can request a modification, so you need to be prepared to justify the changes you want and to fight changes you do not want.
What Is a Significant Change in Circumstances?
California courts try to act in the best interest of the children in custody decisions. Because they want children to have as much stability and security as possible, judges will not modify custody or visitation orders without a good reason to do so. Some of the changes that the court is likely to consider to be significant include:
- One parent starting a new job that makes the current custody arrangement difficult
- A change in the child’s school or other activities, such as starting high school or joining a travel baseball team
- The military deployment of one parent
- One parent moving out of state or far enough away to make shared custody difficult
- Evidence that one parent is not fulfilling their duties to care for the child
- Criminal activity, abuse, neglect, violence, or substance abuse by one parent that has endangered the child
The process for requesting a modification of a custody order involves submitting paperwork to the court and sending it to the other parent. You will be given a date for mediation if required and a date to appear in court. You may bring your lawyer to these meetings to support your request or to defend against a request by the other parent.
In Marin County, Nathan Law Offices Is Here for You
When it becomes necessary to modify a custody order—or you want to stop the other parent from modifying the order—you need an experienced child custody attorney to help you stand up for your child. Paul Nathan and his staff will fight hard to make sure your request for modification is complete and convincing. Fill out the contact form on this page to connect with us today.