Changing A Child Custody Order: Why An Attorney Might Be Necessary

Child custody orders are difficult to change once both parties agree and settle in court. If you want to change a visitation agreement or are looking to change how custody has been established, it takes a material change in circumstances to make this happen. Material changes can be positive ones, such as a new job and a better ability to care for your kids. Changes can also be negative ones, like if one party no longer has the capacity to care for the children. If both parties agree on a specific change, you can go to court and file the agreement. When one party refuses to cooperate, it will become necessary to hire a child custody attorney.

If the Change Is an Emergency

If the other parent of your children is incapacitated and can't care for the children, you may need to go to court to file an emergency custody order. This occurs in cases where a parent ends up incarcerated, is found abusing drugs, or is in treatment somewhere. When one parent can't physically care for the children due to their circumstances, the court will consider this on an emergency basis and is likely to grant temporary custody to the parent seeking it.

When the Children Want a Change of Custody or Visitation

Children aren't in control of a custody and visitation arrangement, but they begin to have a voice in what happens in their life around the age of 12. If your children express concern about going on visitation with the other parent, it may be time to bring your case to court. The court system takes into consideration what children want, especially as they get older. When a child has a poor relationship with one parent, they may want to spend more time with the other.

If Your Circumstances Improve

If you have less than 50% custody because your circumstances were rough at the start of your custody arrangement, you may be able to get more custody if your situation has improved. When you are stable, have a good job, and are able to take care of your children half the time, you may be able to petition the court for an equal custody and visitation agreement.

Changing a child custody order can be difficult, but it is not impossible. When you need to change a custody arrangement for any reason, it's time to find a child custody attorney that can help.