Parents with joint custody of their children may divorce or separate and thus, the original custody agreement may no longer work for the family.
The drafting of a child custody arrangement is an essential step in the divorce process. There are important considerations made for the family when this occurs. Additionally, children must adjust to a new normal, which can be challenging.
In these cases, one parent may want to modify the custody arrangement. But how does one go about modifying a child custody agreement? The first step is to consult with modifications lawyers who can help you understand the grounds for custody modification. The custody lawyer also helps determine whether you have a case or not.
If you have a case, your attorney will work with you to file the necessary paperwork and represent you in court. But that is not all. Keep reading to learn more about how to proceed in a child custody modification case!
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Understand the Custody Law
Do you legally want to alter or amend an existing child custody or child support order? Then, you must file a modification case in the same family court that issued the previous order.
When modifying child custody, you may want to avoid the court and solve the issue out of court. But it’s still better to know some of the fundamentals of child custody law. This will help you be more prepared to handle the situation.
Knowing the legal criteria and what a court considers when making a custody decision is vital. Moreover, it may help you avoid traps like fighting for sole custody based on state laws in the wrong cases.
Determining the best possible custody arrangements for the kids is vital. So state rules often include a variety of other criteria that courts will take into account.
Furthermore, it could provide you with good grounds for opposing the other parent’s stances. But these are unlikely to hold up in court. If you have relocated, you must first find out if the court in your new location has the authority to hear the case.
The most crucial thing to understand is that every state focuses on the welfare of the kids in any custody case. It doesn’t matter what the parents desire. The most important thing is what is best for the kids.
Moreover, several state laws declare that it is in children’s best interests to maintain connections with both parents. This enables regular contact with them unless doing so would be damaging in the given situation.
For this reason, many courts favor shared parenting arrangements. By doing so, kids spend a lot of time with both parents, even if they primarily live with one.
Know the Criteria to Follow
It is sometimes believed that the children’s age provides grounds for a custody change. But this is rarely the case. Instead, it is only a potential option for the court.
A successful basis for change will often occur in one of two scenarios:
- When a significant event occurs in the custodial parent’s life, such as a move to a distant state or nation
- Something unlawful, such as an arrest or relapse into drug use
These can support a custody modification and are simple to prove. Other less severe offenses impede parenting time.
- Involving the kids in parental conflicts
- Denying parenting time
- Poor performance in school, and so on
Again, this may prove a significant event shift to justify a modification.
Identifying if your case calls for a change in custody is a crucial first step in the procedure. You might believe you have excellent cause to change your custody arrangement. But you must meet specific requirements.
You must do it firstly, to establish “a change in circumstances” since your most recent custody order. Secondly, the change in custody must always be for the child’s benefit, not your own.
You cannot just remark that the situation has changed when planning. To ask for a modification, you must mention the causes. Changed conditions can occur when, for instance, one parent has a job that demands more time.
After reading the grounds for change, you can submit a motion to change the order. You will need several crucial pieces of information while submitting this. For instance, you will need to have the details and specifications of the initial court order.
You’ll need to explain why you need to change your existing child custody arrangement. You will then have the chance to outline the precise changes you want to make to your custody order.
Try to Reach an Agreement With the Other Parent
You may try to agree with the other parent on a parenting schedule. This is the next step of the process if there is a dispute over who will have custody of your child or children. You’ll also need to iron out the specifics, such as where the kids will live and the broad strokes.
Consider beginning with your partner if you get along with them. Then, either you win in court or reach an understanding without involving a judge to support the change. It will be simpler for everyone if you can find some common ground.
Aside from that, the details of your child custody modification can still get altered. But if you and your partner can agree without consulting a judge, you can sign a form and submit it to the court.
The Role of a Custody Modification Attorney
You have various choices when selecting a lawyer to represent you in your modification lawsuit. This means consulting a modification attorney is key if you want reliable guidance on your case.
In the field of family law, you don’t know what you don’t know. As a result, you miss out on a lot of knowledge that you and your family may find helpful. The most effective way to get such information is to hire a lawyer.
A modification lawyer is well-versed in that aspect of law and will guide you through everything you need to know and do. Aside from that, it is important to hire a modification lawyer because your partner may have one.
In most cases, the non-custodial parent will need to file a petition with the court to request a modification of the custody order. The custodial parent must get notice of the hearing so that they will have an opportunity to object to the modification.
The court will then decide based on the child’s best interests. If you want a child custody modification, speak to a lawyer or modification attorney.
It would be naive for most parents to try to represent themselves in a custody trial. Custody attorneys with experience know how to gather and present the type of evidence that would persuade the court.