When it comes to requesting for a child custody modification, you will need to establish a substantial claim for your motion.
This process necessitates filing a motion and presenting proofs for the child custody modification request. These are all necessary for the court to review the existing child custody arrangements and whether to grant the motion to modify the terms or not.
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The Ever-Changing Needs of Children May Require a Child Custody Modification
Along with a child’s growth come changes to their needs. While this reasoning is broad, it’s the primary reason why a custodial parent considers a child custody modification.
In today’s post, let’s look at the scenarios that qualify for a child custody modification request.
One valid reason to file a motion for a child custody modification is when one or both parents relocate to a different part of the country (or the world). In this scenario, one of the parents may seek sole custody, while only granting visitation arrangements for the other parent.
While this may not be a fair arrangement, especially for the non-custodial parent, these situations are often driven by a professional change.
Furthermore, the child custody modification is necessary to foster a stable and nurturing environment for the child in the new city, state, or country. The adjustment to the custody arrangement is often a prerequisite so that the custodial parent can give the child what’s best for him or her.
Death of a Parent
Following the death of the parent with sole or primary custody, a modification to the custody arrangement is inevitable – and often necessary.
The family court’s first order of business is to assess the capability of the non-custodial parent to assume primary custody of the child. If not, a third party may need to be granted this right.
In most cases, the court prefers for the child to be under the non-custodial parent’s care – following the death of the custodial parent. This arrangement would most likely cause the least amount of strain and instability in the child’s life. Nevertheless, the court will still review all other different custody options.
The following are the reasons why the child may not remain with the non-custodial parent’s care:
- Employment of the non-custodial parent
- Distance from the child’s current home, school, and immediate family
- The child’s wishes
Neglect of the Existing Custody Arrangement
When the non-custodial parent doesn’t fulfill his or her current child custody visitation schedule, it’s grounds for the other parent to seek modifications to the custody terms.
The court will review the following before issuing a child custody modification to the current arrangement:
- Reasons why the existing visitation schedule is not fulfilled
- Statements from both parents
- Present and future parenting plan
Child Endangerment or Abuse
Some parents – whether it’s the custodial or the non-custodial one – may seek to modify the existing child custody terms when they discover abuse or child endangerment under the other parent’s care.
This is one of the most critical reasons for the court to grant changes to the custody arrangement. In some extreme cases, visitation rights are eliminated altogether.
In determining the welfare of the child, the court will investigate whether there’s physical, sexual, emotional, or any type of abuse, if the child is in immediate danger, or if the child has expressed that he or she is in danger.
Depending on the gravity of the situation, the abuser may need to face criminal charges. Hire the services of a competent and experienced lawyer to help you collect and submit evidence before the court.
Other situations may lead a parent to believe that his or her child may face endangerment – even without anything concrete happening yet. Certain scenarios, such as moving to a questionable neighborhood, the other parent engaging in dangerous activities, or other similar situations, may call for a modification to the child custody terms.
Legal Guidance on Child Custody Modification
The best course of action is to hire an experienced lawyer when you’re dealing with family court matters.
This ensures that you have the legal guidance you need as you navigate these often complex family law proceedings.
If you’re a parent considering a change in your present child custody agreement, or if you need more information about child custody modification, schedule a free consultation with our attorney.