July 07, 2018

Considering a Modification in Custody? Be Realistic about Your Expectations and the Needs of Your Child or Children

Children-of-divorce

 

Modifications to a custody agreement make sense as the ages and needs of your children change. What might have been appropriate for a child at 2 may no longer make sense now that the child is a teenager.

Likewise, changes to a parent’s job or living situation may also create the need to modify your custody agreement.

Courts take modifications seriously.  If you want to be successful in making modifications to your current child custody orders, it may be best to contact an experienced family law attorney in Danville or Walnut Creek.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Asking the Court to Modify Your Custody Orders

  • In California, the court likes to have both parents equally involved in the children’s lives. Unless a parent is unfit, the best interest of the child/children is served when both parents get as close to the same amount of time with the children as possible.
  • As children age, it’s not uncommon for them to want to spend more time at one parent’s house than another. The courts may take this into account when you ask for a modification, but they still want both parents involved. Consider ways to satisfy the child’s desires and needs and have the other parent still involved.
  • Asking for a change in custody based upon the desires of the child/ren is not necessarily going to cause a change of custody. Family court takes the child’s age and reasons for wanting to change custody into serious consideration. While courts do tend to listen to the wants and needs of children 14 years of age and older, their primary objective is to have constant contact with both parents on an equal basis.
  • In the case one of the parent’s needs to alter visitation due to job change or a change in residence, consider ways the parent can see the child outside of working hours. Spending more days in the summer, on weekends, or during holidays may benefit all parties.
  • The request to modify is not quick. If you ask for a modification and the other parent objects, the courts will need to set a time for a trial. Simply getting a day on the calendar can be complicated as both attorneys and the court must be available.

The Impact of a Custody Modification on the Child/Children

Whatever your reason for a change in custody, courts will emphasize the needs of the children over the parents.  Stability and consistency are two factors that kids will thrive on, as well as the unconditional love from two equally involved parents.

Considering Mendes Weed, LLP if you Need a Family Law Attorney

Custody changes can be an emotional and challenging time for all parties. When parents can’t agree to modify the current custody plan on their own, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Family Law attorney who has experiences representing you in Family Court.

If you need help or want advice, contact Mendes Weed, LLP. Or visit our website for more information about Family Law.

Disclaimer: The tips and materials provided in this email are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information in this email should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.