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Child Custody Modification

Child Custody Modification


How to Handle a Child Custody Modification


Life goes through many changes, especially when divorce is concerned. And without a doubt, any divorce may go through what’s commonly called a ‘child custody modification.’ Of course, this kind of modification does include parenting time for the non-custodial parent.


How Can a Child Custody Modification Be Ordered


There are currently two ways to handle that. Typically, though, the modification comes about due to the fact that the non-custodial parent deals with a chance in circumstance or living situation. Sometimes even income can be a factor.


There are two ways child custody can be modified, though, in the event that the non-custodial parent’s situation changes:


1. The Family Court Can Issue the Order at Any Time

2. The Parents Can Decide on Their Own


There’s no law that says the parents can’t agree on their own in regards to child custody. There’s no penalty. Only pure freedom of choice.


However, in regards to the court – if both parents don’t agree to a child custody modification – certain ‘requirements’ must be considered before the court can issue an order for a change.


Common Reasons to Order a Child Custody Modification


1. Considering a “Traditional” Family Environment


This reason mainly involves the possibility of physical custody completely switching from one parent to the other. Sometimes issues may arise where living conditions change for one parent. And if the parents can’t agree on a suitable custody arrangement for the child(ren), the court may step in to make a decision on child custody modification.


2. The Child(ren) Get Older


Out of fairness, the court may decide that a child custody modification is necessary due to the fact that the child(ren) are increasing in age and would then have time to live with the other parent. This is especially the case if the child(ren) are of the legal age to provide their own opinion about which parent they want to live with. Typically, that age can be around 13 or 14.


3. Drastic Change in Income


This can go either way for either parent as a relevant issue the court may consider. But without a doubt, if it turns out one parent lost a job, parenting times can change. The reason the court may decide to issue out a child custody modification for this is to hold both parties accountable without any issues of lost parenting time or violation of parenting time. Likewise, if income changes for one parent, most likely so would work hours – so parenting time would have to be modified in terms of when visitations occur.


4. Relocation


Obviously, if it’s been presented to the court that either parent has to relocate, child custody may be modified drastically to accommodate the issue fairly. This is particularly an issue when one parent has to relocate out of county, and even more of an issue if it’s out of state.


5. Physical or Emotional Harm


If evidence is brought to the court’s attention stating that the child(ren) are actually being harmed by either parent, modification of child custody may be ordered immediately based on the harm done. For instance: if the non-custodial parent was charged with such abuse, parenting time may either be revoked or simply supervised at a secure location. Likewise, a custodial parent may even lose physical custody of the child(ren) if that same evidence was brought to the attention of the court.


6. Violation of Parenting Time


It’s important to know as well that a custodial parent may risk physical custody if he or she denies the other parent parenting time as ordered by the court. If the non-custodial parent brings it to the attention of the court with proof – as in physical proof of walking up to the door of the household of the custodial parent – that the other parent has refused to allow parenting time, modification of child custody may occur.