When is the right time to modify a child custody order?
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When is the right time to modify a child custody order?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Child Custody |

When is the right time to modify a child custody order?  

Child custody orders are an essential tool that ensure children are cared for after a divorce or separation. A custody arrangement is crucial in serving the best interests of a child as it dictates who has the right to make decisions on their behalf.  

Although custody arrangements are designed to remain in place for the long term, they can also be flexible to accommodate the changes that come with life’s unpredictability. What are the common reasons that can justify modifications in child custody orders?   

Changes in circumstances  

A notable change in circumstances can warrant a review of the custody arrangement. This may include a parent’s relocation, changes in work schedules or a shift in the child’s educational or health needs. When these changes occur, the court will determine what modifications are needed in the custody arrangement to serve the child’s best interests.  

Child’s preference   

Many jurisdictions often consider the child’s wishes regarding custodial matters, especially as they grow older and express a reasonable preference. This usually happens when they reach their teenage years.  

A child’s preference alone may not be enough to prompt a review of custody arrangements. Still, it is a significant factor that could influence a judge’s decision, particularly if the preference aligns with the child’s well-being.  

Non-compliance to custody terms   

If a parent consistently refuses to follow the terms established in a child custody order, the court may consider altering the arrangements. Non-compliance from a parent often comes in many forms, like consistently denying visitation, not adhering to the agreed-upon schedule or interfering with the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent.  

Raising a child requires consistency and stability – elements that are typically hard to come by in a divorce or separation. However, a parent’s goal is to ensure the well-being and happiness of their child, and sometimes, this can mean embracing changes.