Changing Custody Order: Why, When and How
When filling a divorce, you have to accept the fact that there will be major changes in your life. Once granted, you have to comply with certain arrangements ordered by the court, including child custody. Unless you are the custodial parent, your child will no longer live in the same house as you. If you’re the non-custodial parent, what should you do if you later found out that your former spouse neglects or abuses your child?
Is it Possible to Change the Custody Order?
Yes, but the procedure for changing custody order is quite complicated. The court will make no modifications if it does not see the reasons compelling and necessary. In legal terms, a “material change in circumstances.” Furthermore, there is a waiting period in which you cannot modify custody arrangements unless absolutely necessary.
The Waiting Period
The waiting period before the original court-ordered custody arrangement go through modification is different in each state, but it is usually two years. This is so that the child could have as much stability as possible. Any threat to the child’s safety, health, and well-being may be enough reason to break the waiting time and make modifications right away.
When to Seek Claim to Modify Custody
The court does not accept all reasons, though, but you may take action and speak to a family law attorney in Colorado Springs if you suspect that there’s neglect. One example is if the child’s medical and educational needs are being ignored. You may also request for custody modification if there is violence, abuse, and addiction involved.
Child support payments are only for the child’s needs. It should not be for the custodial parent to pay for other things unrelated to the child’s needs. This can also be a reason for modification. A change in your work schedule and home address may indicate your availability to provide better care for the child and convince the court to modify the custody order.
How the Court Decides
The court will not change the custody arrangement unless there is enough evidence to support your reasons or allegations. Furthermore, you must also prove that you are worthy to take care of your child and gain custody this time. Lastly, as long as the changes are in the best interests of the child, then the court can order a modification.
If you believe that a modified custody order is the best for your child, then you must take action now. Speak to your lawyer to get the best legal advice for changing an existing child custody arrangement.