The needs of any specific family never stay exactly the same for long. Similarly, a child’s best interests tend to evolve as that child ages and his or her family situation changes. American family law recognizes that from time to time, a child’s custody arrangements may need to be modified in order to reflect these realities. If you believe that your child’s custody orders could benefit from a modification at this time, please consider connecting with a child custody lawyer. He or she will be happy to discuss the modification process with you in order to determine what means to this end may best fit your family’s situation.
Modification by Mutual Consent
If you and your co-parent agree on the terms of a modification, you should be able to secure the court’s approval without much fuss or delay. Generally speaking, courts tend to approve of custody modification requests agreed upon by both parents unless the new terms somehow significantly impact a child’s best interests for the worse. There will be some paperwork to fill out and file, but a good firm can help to ensure that this process is not overly burdensome.
Modification by Formal Request
If you and your co-parent cannot agree on modification terms, you will likely need to formally request that the court grant your proposed modification. It is worth noting that courts frown upon contested modification requests if the changes are relatively insignificant in nature. Similarly, if your child’s needs or family circumstances have not changed significantly since the original order was put in place, it may not serve your interests to formally request a modification. Judges do not generally approve of parents dragging each other into court when doing so is not necessary. If you have questions about whether your proposed modification will likely be met with judicial approval, an attorney would be happy to advise you after learning about the changes you are seeking.
If you and your co-parent are unable to agree on modification terms but are willing to discuss your differences and seek a consensus outside the courtroom, a lawyer may be able to help you negotiate or mediate your situation. These options tend to provide excellent “middle ground” solutions when co-parents don’t agree, but also want to avoid a lengthy, contested courtroom dispute.
Child Custody Guidance Is Available
If you are interested in obtaining a child custody modification or you have questions about what the modification process entails, please consider reaching out to a lawyer today. Once a lawyer understands your family’s unique circumstances, he or she will be able to advise you of your legal options and help you to make informed decisions moving forward.
Life tends to get complicated from time to time and the law recognizes that child custody arrangements may need to evolve as a family evolves. Please consider allowing an attorney to help support your family as you explore your legal options related to your child’s custody arrangements.