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How does a parent change a child custody order in California?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Family Law Modifications

It is doubtful that a judge will issue a child custody order without carefully examining the child’s best interests. While the California judge might make a specific decision at a particular time, circumstances might change, and parents may return to court to request a modification to the original order. A judge could then review the situation to possibly change the order.

Seeking child custody modifications

A core component to requesting an alteration to the original child custody or visitation order focuses on any “change in circumstances” since the first order. Perhaps a parent’s career experienced significant success but now involves working at different hours and days. An erratic schedule may lead to one parent asking about changing visitation orders. However, any changes must reflect what is best for the child. Parents may find the courts unreceptive if they are only seeking alterations for convenience purposes.

When a child grows older, his or her needs may change significantly. The child might benefit from a change in schools, which may prompt changes in custody arrangements.

Sometimes, troubling reasons could lead one or both parents to seek changes in the custody orders. A parent might become unemployed and unable to care for the young one. Parents struggling with alcohol or drug issues might present an unsafe environment, leading the court to make changes.

A formal process for child custody changes

The court requires a “Request for Order” document to consider any changes and modifications to the original child custody arrangement. Parents must provide all necessary information to possibly improve the chances for the desired outcome.

The hearing in court might require presenting evidence and answering pertinent questions. Those interested in changing original orders may benefit from being adequately prepared.