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Under What Circumstances Will a Judge Modify Child Custody?

Under What Circumstances Will a Judge Modify Child Custody?

When it comes to issues related to your children, courts will generally only grant modifications to a court order if the alterations serve their best interests. Therefore, if you wish to modify your child custody agreement, you must justify why and how these changes serve your children’s best interests. Otherwise, it is unlikely a judge will modify your child custody arrangement and disturb the stability of your children’s lives.

Modifying the Child Custody Arrangement

Although family courts understand that change is unavoidable, they also believe that stability is paramount in the life of a child. If you believe your co-parent’s life is in a constant state of disarray, you might want to consider pursuing a modification of your child custody arrangement.

The court might consider a change in custody if you can prove your former spouse does any of the following:

  • Abuses alcohol or drugs
  • Moves too frequently
  • Often changes jobs or has irregular work hours
  • Is emotionally unstable
  • Changes romantic partners often
  • Fails to comply with the child visitation schedule

A judge will not modify your child custody arrangement simply because you can provide a more stable household for your children. To obtain a modification, you must show the circumstances materially changed since the order was initially issued. ‘

Material Changes in Circumstances

There are other circumstances in which a child custody order can be modified. If you believe your child is living in an abusive environment, you must call the local police and file an emergency motion to modify custody. Even if your co-parent is not personally committing the abuse, he or she can still lose custody. For example, if your former spouse has a new romantic partner who is abusing the children, this will undoubtedly affect the custody arrangement.

Here are some other material changes in circumstances a judge will consider:

  • Your children’s emotional, academic, or physical needs have changed
  • The custodial parent is relocating, drastically reducing your ability to maintain a bond and affecting your children’s ability to remain connected to extended family members
  • Your children’s preferences (if they are mature enough and old enough)

If your former spouse is moving out of state, this is generally not reason enough to modify the child custody order. You must prove that relocating will negatively impact your children’s overall wellbeing.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an Experienced Child Custody Attorney!

If your circumstances or the circumstances of your co-parent changed substantially, warranting a modification of your child custody order, reach out to the team at the Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C. for the legal assistance you need to accomplish your goals. Our child custody attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized solutions tailored to the needs of every client we serve. We understand how sensitive these legal matters are and will fight to protect your interests and the interests of your children.

Get started on your case today and contact us at (631) 801-0007 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our compassionate child custody attorneys.
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