Legal Blogs

What Factors Does the Court Consider in Deciding to Change a Custody Order?

custody orderAfter the judge puts a custody order in place when parents separate or divorce, both parents must follow the court order. Sometimes, however, a modification to the existing order needs to be made. Parents should not just informally alter their custody arrangement. This could lead to a variety of legal problems, including the wrong amount of child support being paid. Instead, the custody order should be officially modified to reflect the new terms of the child’s living arrangement.

The court considers a number of factors when deciding to change a custody order. If you are hoping for a change, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced legal professional so you can understand the factors the judge will use to decide on whether to modify your existing custody agreement. An Irvine child custody lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide you with assistance understanding the law and can help you to make a compelling argument for modification. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how a lawyer can help you.

Factors a Court Considers in Deciding to Change a Custody Order

Courts will consider a number of different factors in deciding to change a custody order including:

  • The length of time that has passed since the custody agreement was last put into place. Typically, courts don’t like to make modifications more than once every two to three years. Children need stability, and constant changes to the custody order is not good for their development.
  • Whether the parents are in agreement that the custody order should be modified. If both parents agree and want a change, the court will usually grant it unless there is a very compelling reason not to.
  • Whether there has been a material change in circumstances. Something must be different than it was when the previous custody order was created, or the court will see no reason to make a modification.
  • Whether the modification is in the best interests of the child. If the court does not believe it is best to alter the original custody arrangement, the court is not going to alter the agreement.

If you are seeking to modify the custody order, it is very important that you do everything you can to make the most compelling argument possible for change. This is true whether you want more visitation time, whether you want to change the schedule, or whether you want to relocate with your child.   If you can get the other parent to agree with you, the process will be faster, easier, and less costly. If you can’t, then the strength of your argument is going to determine whether the judge agrees to make your requested modifications or not.

An Irvine custody lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to make a strong argument to modify an existing custody order. If you need help making sure the court does what is best for your child, give us a call today so we can get started on building a case for change. We’ll take care of everything from submitting court paperwork to arguing on your behalf, so give us a call now.