When Does Child Custody Modification Become Necessary?

Child custody modification often becomes necessary when family situations change. Upon separation, parents must determine an appropriate custody arrangement. If parents cannot agree, then the court may issue an order that is in the best interests of the children. If either parent desires a change to that agreement or order, a child custody modification should be sought.

The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help you with child custody modification. Attorney Rick Banks has the experience and skills necessary to help you do what’s best for you and your family.

Types of Custody in Child Custody Orders

Every child custody order will address two types of custody:

  • Legal Custody: This may be granted to one parent or both and involves the legal right to make important decisions about the life of a child, including health care, religion, and education.
  • Physical Custody: This also may be granted to one parent or both. Physical custody is the time physically spent with a child. Parents with physical custody are responsible for decisions based on the basic needs of a child, including food and housing.

It is common for the courts to grant joint legal custody to both parents. This allows both parents to have an influence on the lives of children. However, physical custody is typically primarily granted to one parent; although it is possible to award joint physical custody if physical time spent with both parents is split evenly.

When parents agree to custody terms, the court will typically allow the arrangement as the parents see fit. However, the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child when making determinations of custody. When determining legal and physical child custody, it’s important to have the help of an experienced lawyer who can help you make the best decisions for everyone involved.

Reasons for Child Custody Modification

While child custody is typically determined when parents separate, a child custody modification is often necessary at a later date. Child custody should be evaluated approximately every three years or at any time because of changing circumstances in the lives of parents and children.

Some reasons for child custody modification include:

  • Circumstances have changed since the original agreement or order;
  • Your child’s custody arrangement will be unstable without change;
  • Change is in the best interest of your child;
  • Your child is in danger due to domestic violence, child abuse, or drug abuse;
  • There is an insufficient fulfillment of court-ordered time between a parent and the child;
  • Change is necessary to support your child’s emotional or developmental needs;
  • Either parent is physically relocating to a distant location; or
  • A parent has passed away.

If you and your loved ones have experienced changes in your lives that warrant re-evaluation of child custody, The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help you obtain a child custody modification. You may be able to come to an agreement with your child’s other parent, or you may need to seek a court order. In either case, we can guide you through the process.

How to Obtain a Child Custody Modification

There are two ways to obtain a child custody modification:

  • Voluntary Agreement: With a voluntary child custody modification agreement, both parents agree on new terms of child custody and an agreement is drafted, signed, and filed with the court. It can be helpful to have an attorney who is familiar with the process to expedite the modification and ensure both parties understand the agreement.
  • Court Order: When parents cannot agree, you may seek a court order. In order to obtain a child custody modification from the court, you must first file a Petition to Modify Custody Order. The petition will state why a modification is necessary and the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child. When parents disagree with one another, an attorney can ensure your rights are respected and the best interests of your child are acknowledged.

The court is most interested in the best interests of the child. The court will generally assume that when both parents agree to a modification, the situation is in the best interests of the entire family. However, when the court makes a determination, it often has to weigh the desires of all parties.

We Can Help You Obtain a Child Custody Modification

When life changes negatively impact your child, you may want to seek a child custody modification to better serve your child’s interests. You can achieve this through an agreement or a court order. A dedicated and compassionate lawyer at The Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help you achieve a beneficial child custody modification. Call us today at (559) 222-4891.