When the court formalizes existing custody orders or issues new ones, the children’s best interests always take center stage. Every aspect of the children’s needs is considered before making the final decision.
However, circumstances may change along the way, and you may be worried that the current custody arrangement is not working for the children. In that case, you can return to the court that issued the orders for a modification to protect the children’s welfare.
You need to have a valid reason
The court will not modify custody orders that seem to be working fine or are inconvenient to you. In fact, there may be penalties if you make baseless claims in order to get custody orders modified.
To successfully petition a revision of the current custodial arrangement, you need to provide evidence of the claims which inform your request and how they affect the children. For instance, if the parent is neglecting the children, you need to show that to the court. Witness testimony or statements from the child could help your case.
Other reasons why custody orders may be changed include:
- Incarceration of your co-parent
- They are constantly violating the existing orders or denying you access to the children
- Drug abuse
- Cases of violence or aggression towards the children
- Changes in the needs of the child, among others
Generally, anything that puts the children’s welfare at risk can point to the need for a modification.
It may not be easy to ask for a modification
You are likely to face opposition from your co-parent, especially if it was not a mutual decision. You should be prepared to even deal with counter-accusations by your co-parent.
Emotions may run high, but the children should always come first at the end of the day. Protecting them is your parental duty, and it means sometimes having to make such tough decisions.