If you are divorcing as parents, then the top priority for both you and the courts will be to settle matters regarding child custody. Perhaps you and your co-parent were able to come up with an arrangement amicably. Failing this, the court would have stepped in to come up with a custody order that met the child’s best interests.
However, the courts are aware that the needs of a child change as they grow up. They are also aware that life rarely remains completely static. For this reason, while custody orders are binding, they can also be modified under certain conditions. Outlined below are some examples of when a custody order can be changed.
When the needs of the child have changed
Children generally develop quite quickly, and it can only take a year or even a few short months for their needs to change completely. The family court is aware of this and will take any request to modify custody for these reasons seriously.
At the same time, children don’t always develop at the same rate. In some cases, a child may even develop an illness or health condition that means they require a more steady routine. Whatever the reason for a custody request, the court will always prioritize the best interests of the child.
When a parent’s circumstances have changed
It’s not only the needs of the child that change over time. It is rare for an adult’s life to remain still either. One parent may have been offered the career opportunity of a lifetime. This means they are going to be able to provide for their child financially and send them through college in the future. The only downside is that the job is based in a completely different location. If it’s in the best interests of the child overall, then the court will consider modifying the custody order under these circumstances.
Whether you are negotiating a new custody order or modifying an existing arrangement, it’s important that you understand your rights as a parent. Having legal guidance on your side will help ensure that everything remains above board.