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Jun 15

When can I Modify My Child Custody Order?

Child custody is often a messy subject, and unless you and your ex are on great terms, custody battles can often leave one parent frustrated.

Thankfully, child custody orders are not entirely set in stone. While they are a binding legal agreement and action can be taken if it’s violated, courts understand that situations are going to change over time and custody orders will need to be adjusted.

It’s important to note that changing a custody order may not always be easy to do, but it is possible under certain circumstances. The following are a few situations where changing a custody order may be necessary.

 Your ex is putting your child in harm’s way.

If you share custody of your child with your ex, but you have noticed that your ex puts your child in harm’s way, then you could file to get sole custody. For example, if you have proof that your ex is abusing drugs or alcohol or is abusive to your child, then you may want to change your custody order and fight for sole custody.

To do this, you will need proof, such as pictures of your ex’s home with drug paraphernalia or copies of medical records that show your ex abused your child. In these cases, the judge may rule that your ex is not fit to split custody, and you may be awarded sole custody of your child.

 You have become a better person.

People struggle, and if you were struggling during your first custody order, your ex may have been given sole custody of your child. However, people do change, and if you can prove that you have changed for the better, you may want to change the custody order so that you have joint custody of the child.

For example, if you abused drugs but have since finished rehab, have been sober for a significant amount of time, and have held a decent job and can prove you can provide a stable home, the court may rule that you deserve joint custody of your child. Again, having proof is extremely important.

 Your schedule changes.

Custody orders will usually include the visitation schedule for the child with both parents. For example, if you see your child every other weekend, the order will state this. If you and your ex split visitation with your child 50/50, or every other week, the court order will state this.

However, there may come a time when your schedule changes and you need to change the visitation or dates of your time with your child. For example, if you start working overnights, you may need to change your visitation schedule to those nights that you have off. If you have switched jobs and are now more available to spend more time with your child, you will also want to get this into the court order as well.

If you want changes to the visitation, you will again need to prove why. Also, it will be more beneficial for you if your ex agrees to the change, otherwise you may find yourself dealing with a time-consuming and stressful court hearing.