4 Reasons Why You Want Your Family Lawyer to Modify the Child Custody Arrangement
The original child custody arrangement seemed to be in the best interests of the kids at first. Over time, things have changed and you believe making some changes would be best. As your family lawyer will explain, the courts don’t make changes in child custody without some compelling reasons. If one of these happen to apply in your case, there is a good chance the court will entertain amending the current arrangement.
1. The Custodial Parent Ignores Your Visitation Rights
In general, courts expect custodial and non-custodial parents to uphold their responsibilities. That includes ensuring that the non-custodial parent has the opportunity to exercise his or her visitation rights. If you find that the custodial parent seems to always have a reason why you can’t see your child this weekend, it may be time to think about modifying the terms and making it clear you will not be denied access to your children. A family lawyer can help you document what has happened before and hopefully support you in resolving this unfortunate situation.
2. You Have Reason to Believe That Your Child is in Danger
When there are signs that the kids are living in an unsafe setting, dealing with verbal or physical abuse, or being subjected to situations that could put them in physical danger, it’s time to see about modifying the custody arrangement. The problem could be a new spouse or romantic interest of the former spouse, an emerging substance abuse habit on the part of the custodial parent, or any other development that you believe places your child in danger. While the burden of proof rests with you, your legal counsel will know how to build a case and hopefully convince the court that a change in custody is appropriate. For more information, Matrimonial Home can provide you with additional insights.
3. The Custodial Parent is Moving Out of State
When the custodial parent plans on moving out of state, that will affect the ability to exercise your visitation rights. The move could also disrupt the child’s life in ways that are less than productive. For example, changing schools right now may be difficult for the child. If agreements were made about the child’s religious upbringing, that could also be disrupted. A word with the family lawyer may set in motion a discussion about how to deal with this change and what it could mean to the non-custodial parent’s access to the child.
4. The Child Wants to Live With You Full Time
After a certain age, your child may decide he or she would prefer to live with you. That will mean returning to the court and requesting a change in the custody arrangement. Your child will need to be prepared to confirm that he or she wants to make the change and possibly provide some reasons why. Assuming the court agrees that changing the physical custody and other aspects of the arrangement is best for the child, you are likely to have the petition approved.
If you believe the current child custody arrangement is not right for your child, it’s time to talk with a family lawyer. Depending on the circumstances, the process of making a change may be easier than you expected.