What if there are terms of your custody order that you disagree with, or you think the court has made a mistake? Is there a remedy?

The answer is yes and no. To modify a custody order issued by the court, a parent usually needs to prove (with evidence) that there's been some substantive or material change in circumstances that justifies the request. If your request is not substantially justified, the court will keep things the way they are. 

The following are some of the most common reasons why people ask for a change.

One Parent Moves

If a parent has moved to a different address than the one listed in the original custody order, then the court may have reason to reconsider the custody arrangement. For example, if one parent moves further away than where they previously lived, that changes the child's entire situation, and a new custody solution might be required. Similarly, if a parent moves closer to the ex-spouse, that may shine favorably on that parent getting more involved in their child's life.

Domestic Abuse

If a parent abuses the child or is abusing a romantic partner or relative in the same household as the child, the other parent has a solid case to change the custody arrangement. Evidence in the form of testimony from the child, third-party witnesses, doctor bills, or police reports may be needed.  A restraining order may also be needed. 

Substance Abuse or Other Danger to the Child

Any situation that might prove dangerous to the child is considered a strong reason to alter a custody order. Drug use or illegal activity, excessive parties, or leaving the child for long periods without supervision are all common examples of what the court might consider “dangerous.”

Violating an Existing Custody Order

The court does not take kindly to parents who completely disregard a custody order or do not exercise the custodial time afforded to them by the custody order. If one parent can prove the other parent is violating an existing order or not exercising their privileges, then the court may issue a new custody order with less favorable terms for the offending parent.

Child Refuses To Comply

Often, we have parents ask if their custody order can be changed because their child does not like the court-ordered schedule. Unfortunately, that is not deemed a substantial reason by the court to change the order. Evidence in the form of testimony from a therapist, teacher, or counselor may be needed to prove that the custody order is not in the child’s best interest.   

Park Family Law

When it comes to changing your existing custody order, Park Family Law can get you the best results.

Whether you need an experienced mediator to amicably and efficiently settle your case or an aggressive litigator to get you the best results in court, Park Family Law can assist you every step of the way.