Most of the orders issued by family courts are modifiable in the future, including those related to child custody and visitation. The court has the power to review visitation terms, expand parental rights, or even revoke custody from a parent entirely when necessary. The guidance of a seasoned child custody attorney could be useful under any of these circumstances.
If you feel modification of a child custody order is necessary, you must meet certain requirements. The courts will not simply change a child custody agreement without a viable reason. An Agoura Hills child custody modification lawyer could help you understand what is required to alter the terms of custody or visitation orders and move forward to reach your goals.
As is the case with the initial child custody decision, all questions of custody modification are considered with a child’s best interest in mind. It is the role of the court to determine what custody arrangement is the most appropriate for the child’s circumstances.
That does not mean the court will not take into account the rights and wishes of a parent. A judge often reviews requests from parents to modify the child custody order and agree to do so. A qualified Agoura Hills attorney could help a parent present a convincing child custody modification request.
While there are limitations regarding alteration of custody orders, the amount of time that has passed since the original order was issued is not one of those limitations. A parent has the right to petition for a modification of the order at any point after it has been issued by the court.
Ultimately, a judge has the power to amend a child custody or visitation order at any point if that modification is in the child’s best interest. However, the parent seeking the change must establish that there has been a material change in circumstances that requires an alteration of the agreement.
Not every change in circumstance is considered material. In some cases, minor changes to lifestyle or financial means are not enough to require a change in the custody order. Whether or not a change is material is ultimately for the Agoura Hills court to decide, but an experienced attorney could make the case that child custody modifications are necessary under the circumstances.
A common material change in circumstances a parent might bring to the court has to do with employment. For example, if one parent has a drastic change in their work schedule, a court may agree with the request and alter the parenting plan to accommodate.
Other modifications are based on allegations of impropriety. A parent accused of substance abuse, abandonment, or other dangerous behavior could face a motion to modify the child custody agreement to keep the child from being at risk. A qualified attorney could help the parent file the modification motion and show the court in Agoura Hills that the circumstances in the other parent’s life warrant an update to the child custody agreement.
If you are unsure whether your situation calls for modification of your custody agreement, skilled legal counsel could answer your questions and assist you with your motion to modify.
Call an Agoura Hills child custody modification lawyer today to get started.
Hoffer Family Law Firm