If circumstances have changed since the court issued child custody orders, it is possible to modify them and protect the children’s wellbeing.
However, not every change in your co-parent’s life will lead to a revision of the existing custody arrangement. If you are thinking of changing your child custody orders, here are two ways to go about it:
Agree with your co-parent
You can modify child custody orders by agreeing to any changes with the other parent. If possible, this is the best way of going about it. However, the court still needs to approve the new changes. Otherwise, the modifications you agree with your co-parent will not be legally recognized.
Petition the court to modify the orders
If you cannot agree with your co-parent on a new arrangement, the court that issued the initial orders can step in and change them. However, the children must be negatively affected by the substantial change in circumstances for a successful petition.
For instance, if your co-parent with physical custody is abusive or constantly absent in the children’s lives, you may petition the court to modify custody orders. The judge may also revise the existing orders if your co-parent is constantly denying you visitation rights or violating other terms of custody.
Things to keep in mind
The court will not rely on hearsay to modify child custody orders. In all modification cases, judges need evidence of the reasons you may have to change the current custodial arrangement. You have to convince the court that the changes are necessary and beneficial to the children.
To ensure a successful outcome of your petition, it is crucial to organize and prepare yourself beforehand. Knowing what you need to do will help you achieve your end goals and protect your children’s wellbeing.