Child Custody Modification
Parents often seek a child custody modification of their current parenting time when there is a change in lifestyle or circumstances that affect them or their children. The court may find a visitation and/or child custody modification “necessary or proper” if it’s in the child’s best interest. The parent who seeks a child custody modification order will need to show the court a “significant change of circumstances” to support the modification request.
A child custody modification order was granted when Father failed to protect child. Domestic Violence was committed by Mother who was suffering from PTSD and Battered-Woman’s Syndrome. Father failed to help mother seek medical attention and thus failed to protect the child.
When You Believe Your Child is in Danger
One of the main reasons why a court will consider a child custody modification if the child is in immediate danger in the current household. In assessing the danger to the child, a court will consider the following factors: (1) Any domestic violence; (2) Any immediate danger to the child; and, (3) If the child has expressed an unwillingness to remain in the home of the parent, where danger may be present.
Relocation of One Parent
A court will consider a child custody modification if one of the child’s parents wants to relocate. Prior to altering child custody, a court will consider the following: (1) The motivation of the parent who is relocating; (2) What effects the move has on the visitation schedule; (3) If the parents have communicated a way to rework the visitation schedule; and, (4) The effects on the child’s life (after-school or sporting activities, friendships, religious upbringing)
Violation of the Agreed-Upon Visitation Schedule
If one of the parents is not cooperating with the current visitation schedule, a court may consider a change to the child custody arrangement. A court will consider the following factors before ordering a child custody modification when a parent is not cooperating with the visitation schedule: (1) Any agreement reached by the parents; and, (2) Reasons why the current visitation schedule has not been followed.
The Death of a Parent
If a custodial parent dies, a child custody modification is necessary as the court will need to determine if the non-custodial parent will assume full responsibility of the child or if a third-party will assume custody of a child. Generally, a court would prefer for the child to remain with the non-custodial parent, as it will cause less strain on a child’s life. However, a court will consider alternative arrangements, if the child cannot remain with the non-custodial parent.
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