Are you worried about your child’s well-being under your current custody order? If so, it might be time to start thinking about modification. But what does that entail? Let’s look at it a little more closely.
When is modification warranted?
There are a lot of circumstances that may justify a modification of an existing child custody order. Here are some of them:
- Exposure to parental substance abuse: If you’re child’s other parent struggles with addiction and your child is subjected to that substance abuse, your child is at very real risk of harm. In fact, children who are subjected to parental substance abuse are at an increased risk of being abused or neglected, developing behavioral problems and poor school performance, and suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Changed financial circumstances: Your child’s other parent needs to have the financial resources necessary to take care of your child. If they fall on hard times to the point in which they are unable to provide a safe and stable home for your child, modification may be warranted.
- Mental health concerns: A lot of parents have mental health diagnoses. That doesn’t make them a bad or unsafe parent. But if a parent with a mental health condition fails to appropriately treat their condition, the symptoms of their condition may pose a threat to the child’s well-being.
- Abuse or neglect: Obviously, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse can cause significant harm to your child. But your child’s physical, emotional and educational needs may be neglected, too, which can be just as harmful.
- Parental interference: If your co-parenting relationship has floundered and the other parent has prevented you from seeing, talking to, or otherwise accessing your child, your relationship with your child is being damaged. That’s probably not in your child’s best interests.
What to do if you think that modification is necessary
If you think that modifying your existing child custody order is necessary to protect your child’s best interest, you’ll need to file a motion with the court asking for the modification. Before you do so, though, you’ll need to make sure that you have evidence to support your request. This evidence can be anything from police records to medical documentation and witness testimony. The specific kinds of evidence that you’ll need in your case is really going to depend on the facts at hand.
Just keep in mind that you’ll have to prove that your proposed modification is in the child’s best interests. Therefore, you need to tailor your legal arguments to speak to that standard. These arguments will be made to the judge in your case, too, so you’ll want to make sure that your courtroom presentation is as sharp as possible.
As you prepare for your modification hearing, keep in mind that the other side is probably going to try to deny the allegations that you’re making, and they may even try to argue that you’re an unfit parent for some reason. Therefore, you’ll want to try to anticipate these arguments and prepare to counter them accordingly.
Aggressively pursuing your modification
The outcome of your child custody dispute can make all the difference in your child’s life, and it can impact your relationship with them to a great extent. That’s why if you want the judge to grant your request, you need to be prepared to aggressively litigate your position. That can be stressful to do, especially when your arguments are emotionally charged. But this is where the assistance of an experienced family law attorney may prove beneficial. So, if you’d like to learn more about what one of these legal advocates can do for you, please consider reaching out to a proven legal team to discuss your case further.