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Can I modify a child custody order?

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Can I modify a child custody order?

| May 26, 2021 | family law |

Working out child custody arrangements can take a long time when you divorce. You and your spouse may have very different visions of how your child’s future should be.

Yet, either you or a court will need to make a decision. If this decision is not the one you want, what are your options? Are you stuck with it for life? Or can you seek to change it later?

You can only modify child custody arrangements in certain circumstances

Child custody agreements are legally binding, and a court could penalize you for acting against them. Yet, that does not mean you cannot ask a court to change them, provided you have a valid reason for doing so. However, you will need to let some time pass before you can request a modification. Here are some grounds on which you can request one:

  • The child is in danger: A child’s safety is always a priority. You could need to seek a modification for several reasons. Perhaps your partner has started drinking heavily, or their new partner is violent and could harm your child either physically or mentally.
  • The child wants to change primary residence: If your child decides they want to spend more time with you instead of living with their mom, a court will listen, provided the child is 12 or over.
  • One of you wants to move: It will affect custody when a parent wishes to move from the area. A modification will be necessary unless the move is close enough to enable previous arrangements to continue.

Courts understand that situations change and are willing to listen to modification requests. Seeking child custody modification can be challenging, especially when the other parent does not agree. What any request will come down to is if it is in your child’s best interest. That is the golden rule for all custody issues.