Life is always changing and this is no less true for divorced couples and their children following the divorce and a child custody order. If you are wondering about modifying a child custody order, you should know how one is initially set up and what it takes to change one.
Modifying a child custody order
To understand how to change child custody, you should understand how child custody is determined initially. A fairly long and comprehensive list of factors is used to determine child custody ranging from the physical and mental health of the parents to the preference of the child, depending on their maturity and judgment. The priority is given to an outcome that will be in the best interests of the child and a variety of factors are used to determine what that is.
To change a child custody order, the parent requesting the change will also have to demonstrate that the child custody modification is what is best for the child. The parent requesting the change will have to petition for a modification with the family law court. Parents can agree to the change, they can use alternative dispute resolution resources such as mediation to help them or the family law court can decide if the modification should be granted.
It is important to keep in mind that any change must always be what is best for the child. There is a strong emphasis placed on this. The basis for the change usually must be a change in circumstances. Special situations may exist for military deployments or parental relocation.
Because custody issues can quickly grow complex and are usually emotional, if you want to change your child custody arrangement, it is helpful to have knowledgeable guidance throughout the process of making the request.