The court issues child custody orders, and while legally binding documents, it is possible to change the orders.
Changing the orders must happen through the court, and there are five reasons when you may need to request a modification.
1. Co-parenting challenges
Even though the goal is for both parents to share the parental responsibilities, one parent may abandon this role or refuse to engage with the other concerning decisions for the child’s welfare or well-being. The court could allocate more favorable custody rights to the participatory parent.
2. Parental alienation
One parent may purposely exclude the other from the child’s life and sabotage the child’s relationship with the other parent. The parent experiencing the attempts of alienation can address this problem before the court.
3. Substance abuse
If a parent struggles with addiction, it can impact the safety of the child. A parent concerned for the well-being of the child may approach the court for a modification of a custody order.
4. Child’s wishes
As a child ages, there may be a desire to change primary custodial privileges or place of residence. In many cases, the child must be 12 or older to request custody changes for this reason.
5. Relocation needs
If a parent needs to relocate and there is a restriction in the existing custody orders, a modification request is necessary. A jury or judge could decide on this change.
As the child ages or the parental situations change, modifications to a custody order may be necessary. The impact on the child is a top consideration when changes should occur.