If you have children, finding a custody arrangement that is best suited for your children may be the biggest issue of your divorce. If you and your ex agree on custody, you may present your parenting plan to the court for final approval. If you do not agree, you and your ex will have the opportunity to present your case to the court and the court will award custody based on what serves the best interests of the child.
Can I modify my custody order?
Once the court has issued your final custody order, both parents are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the order. However, if your life circumstances change in a significant way, you can request a modification of child custody, if the modification is in the best interest of the child. A substantial change in circumstances may include:
- Parent develops serious medical condition.
- Parent is abusing or neglecting the child.
- Child’s home environment is now unstable or unsafe.
- Parent wants to relocate with the child.
- Parent’s income changes significantly.
- Child (over 12 years old) prefers a new arrangement.
Even if you and your child’s other parent agree to the modification, it is in your best interest to form a formal request to modify the existing custody order. When a judge signs off on the modification, both parents are legally required to adhere to the terms of the new agreement. If you are considering a modification of your current child custody order, consider consulting with a family law attorney to discuss your options.