Law Office of Edward S. Matisoff

Westlake Village Family Law Firm
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Child custody modifications

Over the course of time, an existing child custody agreement may no longer be a practical choice for one or both parents or their children. At that point, either of the parties involved in the divorce can petition the court for a modification concerning child custody and parenting time. Divorced parents in California need to be informed of the process of requesting and being granted a modification in child custody.

What constitutes a modification?

Simply being unhappy with the court’s original ruling concerning child custody is not enough to be granted a modification. The court’s primary interest must be the well-being of the children involved, so unless the agreement is truly no longer feasible for the children or one of the parents, a modification request won’t even be heard.

A job change, a relocation for one of the parents or a major change in the child’s circumstances are the typical causes for a court-ordered modification to an existing custody arrangement. They are not a tool to be used to “get even” with a former spouse.

The health and safety of the child

Unfortunately, children being subjected to abuse and violence is a very real issue. With that being the case, courts will order a modification if the health and safety of the child is at stake.

Situations where there is proven domestic violence in one parent’s home and the child is believed to be in immediate danger are causes for a parent to seek a modification. In these cases, courts will typically act quickly in an effort to protect the health and safety of the child involved.

A parent who is seeking a modification of child custody and parenting time may want to seek out an attorney familiar with family laws of their state. As each state is different in regards to such modifications, this attorney may review the current case in conjunction with previous cases to better advise their client of how to file their motion for modification.