A child custody order is issued to protect the best interests of your California child. However, as life situations change, you might need to have it modified. Before this is done, the court will consider the reasons for the request and the circumstances around it.
When can you request a custody order modification?
There are specific reasons for requesting a change to a parenting order. Simply desiring a different setup is not enough. Some of the reasons for which a custody order might be modified include:
- One of the parents needing to move to a location that will affect the parenting plan
- One of the parents ignoring the custody agreement
- A parent’s home being an unsafe location for the child
- The death of the custodial parent
What will the courts look at when deciding on a change?
Before the courts can decide whether they will approve a change to the child custody order, they will investigate the reasons and circumstances around it. Some of the factors the courts will consider include:
- The presence of domestic violence or substance abuse present at the home and a risk to the child
- The reasons a parent needs to relocate and the move’s effect on the child
- A child’s preference about where they want to live
- How a custody modification will affect the child
A parent can request a modification or the court might decide one is needed to protect the child’s best interests. As part of the process, the parents can work together to draft a new parenting plan and present it to the court. They can do this through mediation or arbitration since the resolution to this issue does not always have to be a contentious court conflict.