In many situations, one or both parents may want to make a change to a child custody or visitation order once it has been issued by the court. While modifying these orders is possible, there is no guarantee a judge will agree to do so. An experienced child custody attorney could help you make your case based on a material change in your life or the life of your child.
You may have good reason to alter your custody rights, especially if you feel you were treated unfairly in the first order. However, when both parents cannot agree on a modification, the process could be contentious. Let a Ventura County child custody modification lawyer fight for your rights to build a stronger relationship with your children.
There is no deadline to alter the terms of a custody order. In fact, there is nothing preventing a parent from seeking to modify an order shortly after it is issued, but it is up to the judge to agree to the modifications. A judge typically agrees to modify an established child custody order only if it can be shown that there has been a material change in circumstances. This must involve a change in circumstances so significant it alters the scope of the parent-child relationship and requires a review of the current custody terms.
This requirement is in place for a reason. Courts have long held that stability is beneficial to children, which may make a judge unlikely to make constant changes to their schedule or living arrangement. A lawyer could advise a Ventura County parent on whether they have experienced a change in circumstances that warrants a child custody modification.
As is the case with every discussion of custody, the modification of a custody agreement is governed by the child’s best interest. A judge must make their decision based on what is best for the child, as opposed to what the parents or anyone else want. Based on this standard, it is not uncommon for the court to agree that a material change in circumstances has occurred but still determine it is best for the current custody and visitation arrangement to remain in place.
A parent and their lawyer can seek child custody modification in Ventura County by preparing a Request for Order form and submitting it to the appropriate court. These forms require extensive information regarding visitation schedules, and it is vital that the information within them is correct.
Once a local attorney ensures the forms are accurate, they must be filed with the court. After the filing fee is paid, the court clerk will set a hearing date. It is the responsibility of the parent seeking a modification to notify the other parent of the filing, as well as the details of the hearing.
Before you seek a modification of your custody rights, have a qualified litigator review your case. Experienced legal counsel could maximize your chances for a favorable outcome.
By working closely with a Ventura County child custody modification lawyer, you could obtain additional access to your children based on your changing life circumstances. Call as soon as possible for a confidential consultation.