Family Law Attorney
As a child grows and changes their needs and what is best for them change as well. Life can also bring about changes whether that is a new job, moving, or remarriage by one or both parents. These changes may mean that you want to modify the current child custody order. This can be done through the courts with a child custody modification. In order to make the changes you seek to the current court order, you will need to have a judge sign off on the changes. A family law attorney who is an expert on modifications would be a great resource for you. The attorney are experts in family law, and ready to help you obtain the modification you are seeking.
A modification for a child custody order can be filed by either parent. A modification may also be filed by someone other than the parent if you qualify. If you are listed as a party in the current order or if you have had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months ending not more than ninety days before the date you file the modification case with the court and you are not a foster parent, or if you have lived with the child and the child’s parent, guardian, or conservator for at least six months ending not more than ninety days before the date you file the modification case, and the child’s parent, guardian, or conservator has died, you may file a modification.
Family members may also file a modification in specific situations. For example, if you are the child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, or sibling you may file a modification if you meet certain requirements. If both parents are dead; if both parents, the surviving parent, or the managing conservator agree; or if the child’s present circumstances will significantly harm the child’s physical health or emotional development then you may file a suit for modification.
You can make a modification to the current child custody order regarding the possession and access or the child support. It is a good idea to seek the legal services of a family lawyer. An attorney who is an expert in family law can explain your rights and options to you.
In order to receive a modification, you will need to meet some legal standards. As with the original order, you must prove that the changes you are requesting are in the child’s best interest. The court will always keep the child’s best interest in mind when making decisions that will affect a child. In addition to the change being what is best for the child, you must also prove at least one of the following three situations: that the circumstances of the child, a conservator or other person affected by the order have materially and substantially changed; that the child is at least twelve years old and tells the judge who the child wants to live with; or that the person who has primary custody has allowed someone else to have primary care and possession of the child for at least six months. The last situation will not be accepted if the person who has primary custody has allowed someone else to have primary care and possession of the child because they are on active military deployment.
Several different situations may qualify as material and substantial changes. Remarriage of a parent, a new or developing medical condition of the child or parent, a parent moving a distance away that makes the current possession and access schedule extremely difficult, or a change in job schedule such as from a regular nine-to-five to long shift schedule like a firefighter, are things that could be considered material and substantial.
The modification will need to be filed in the county where the current order was made. If the child has lived in another county for the last six months, the modification will still need to be filed in the original court, but one of the expert attorneys can help you get your case transferred to the new county of residence. Just because you file for a modification, does not mean you should stop following the current orders. The current orders should be followed until new orders are put in place.
If the modification is uncontested, both parties can sign forms agreeing to the changes. A judge can review the changes and if they deem the changes to be in the best interest of the child the modification can be granted. If the other party does not agree to the modification and wishes to contest it, the modification will be set for hearing. After the hearing the judge will decide whether or not to grant the modification, keeping in mind the best interest of the child.
In order to start the process to modify your current child custody orders, you can seek the legal services of an expert in family law.