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The Common Catalysts of Custody Modifications

Posted by Mattis Law, A.P.C. on November 10, 2022 in Child Custody

Child custody modifications alter the current custody arrangement to better fit new circumstances or changes in the relationship. There are many reasons why a custody modification may be necessary. For example, perhaps the custodial parent has remarried, and the new spouse is not providing a good environment for the children. Maybe the custodial parent has developed a drug or alcohol problem and can no longer care for the children. Or, the custodial parent may have relocated, and the children are having difficulty adjusting to the new school and community.

In any of these cases, the non-custodial parent may petition the court for a custody modification. The court will then consider the children’s best interests and decide whether to modify the custody arrangement. If the court decides to modify custody, the new arrangement will be based on what is in the children’s best interests.

Why Child Custody Modifications are Necessary

Life circumstances change, and what worked for a family when the children were younger may no longer work as the children get older. For example, a parent may need to move to a new job that requires traveling frequently or being closer to family. In addition, the child’s needs may change. If a parent cannot meet the child’s needs, it may be necessary to modify the custody arrangement. Another common catalyst for custody modifications is when a parent remarries, and the new spouse considers adopting one of the children.

Child’s Needs. As a child grows and matures, their needs will inevitably change. This may require modifications to their custody arrangement in order to accommodate these changes. For example, if a child’s health condition changes, they may need to relocate to be closer to specialized medical care. Or, if a child’s educational needs change, they may need to switch to a different school district. The custodial parent may also need to change the parenting schedule to accommodate the child’s needs. If the child needs to relocate, the custodial parent may need to request a modification of the child custody order.

Parents Become Unfit. If a parent is deemed unfit by a court, child custody may need to be altered. This can be a difficult decision for a court to make, as it must balance the parent’s rights with the child’s best interests. Sometimes, the parent may be granted supervised visitation or limited custody rights. In other cases, the parent may be completely barred from having contact with the child. The court will consider various factors in making its decision, including the severity of the parent’s misconduct, the impact on the child, and the likelihood of rehabilitation.

These factors include but are not limited to the parent’s drug use, criminal record, mental health, and history of child abuse or neglect. If the court finds that the parent is unfit, the child may be placed in the custody of the other parent, a relative, or a foster parent.

Parent’s Life Has Changed. Custody arrangements can also be changed if a parent has a significant life change, such as in profession or marital status. The change can impact the parent’s ability to care for the child. For example, if a parent gets a job that requires them to travel frequently, they may not be able to care for the child as much as they did before. Or, if a parent gets married, their new spouse may not be able to care for the child as much as the parent could; or they may want to become an additional guardian of the child.

Relocation Cases. The custody arrangement can also be changed if a parent needs to relocate. This may be necessary if moving to a different city, state, or country. The parent who is moving must notify the other parent of the move and the new address and provide a reason for the move. The other parent can then object to the action and request a new custody arrangement. If the parents cannot agree on a new contract, they may need to go to court to have a judge decide.

Talk to a Professional Lawyer About Changing Your Custody Arrangement

You must talk to a child custody lawyer about your options if you’re considering changing your child custody arrangement. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to modify your existing custody order, or you may need to file a new custody petition with the court. There are many factors to consider when making a custody change, and a lawyer can help you understand your rights and options. The Mattis Law, A.P.C. has years of experience with these delicate cases. Our lawyers will represent you in court and fight for a fair outcome. Call (858) 328-4400 to schedule your appointment today!

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