Life is constantly changing. Sometimes, the changes can be so significant that the existing custody or visitation arrangement you have with your ex-spouse no longer seems tenable. But with so much at stake, how do you know it is time to petition the court for custody modification?
A judge will modify custody or visitation arrangement only if doing so is in the child’s best interest. While you may be convinced that custody modification is necessary, you must have solid proof before the court can grant your prayers.
Here are some of the most common reasons why the court might grant custody modification.
Abuse of custody terms
When parents decide to go their separate ways, there is always a custody arrangement in place, either through mutual agreement or court decree. Both parents are required to respect this arrangement. If one parent is not holding up their end, perhaps blocking visitation or refusing to return the children at the right times, the aggrieved parent can petition the court to modify the custody order.
To achieve this, they will have to provide evidence showing that the other parent is routinely violating the custody arrangement. Besides filing for custody modification, the aggrieved parent may also request the court to find the other parent in contempt of court.
When the child is in danger
If you can prove that the child’s health or safety is endangered while in the custody of the other parent, then you may petition the court to limit or even bar that parent from contacting the child. Endangerment can take the form of domestic violence by the other parent or someone in their household or various forms of neglect. Substance abuse can also justify custody modification if the parent is exposing the child to a toxic environment.
Child custody can be modified upon request. However, the court will not grant your prayers to modify custody if you cannot provide valid reasons for your request.