During a divorce, a lot of issues must be addressed before a divorce decree or judgment is issued. The final court order takes into effect indefinitely, addressing the way some issues are handled. The divorce decree of a couple with children includes a child custody order or parenting plan. Sometimes, this order may not adequately the needs of a family over time, and one of the parents can request a judge to modify their parenting plan based on a particular change that has taken place. A sandy child custody attorney can help them pursue this modification successfully. It is important to understand the requirements to meet, so the modification request is approved.
Child Custody Modifications After a Divorce
In general, legal custody modifications may not be allowed within the first couple of years following the divorce of the parents. The only exception is when a new issue impacts the physical or emotional health of a child. One issue is child abuse by a parent. A parent can request physical custody or parenting time modifications at any time once the court determines their necessity. Also, parents may request a modification to physical or legal custody at any time unless a judge determines it’s not in the best interest of the child involved.
Valid Reasons for Requesting a Child Custody Modification
Often, for a modification to be granted, the requesting parent must show that there has been a major change in their familial situation. The following are valid reasons for modifications:
- Health issues that impact parents. If one parent experiences problems such as a cancer diagnosis that impact their ability to give proper care to their children, they may have a valid reason to request a child custody modification.
- Changes to the needs of the child. Child custody modification may be possible if the child experiences an illness or development problem that requires unique care. The request is based on the ability of every parent to give the necessary care like making time to transport the child as they get treatment from various medical providers. If needed, a parent may request to change the allocation of parental responsibilities, so that one parent can make important decisions about various forms of healthcare without consulting with the child’s other parent.
- Parental relocation. After a divorce, parents may move to a new city or state to pursue educational or employment opportunities. Sometimes, the move is decided, so they can have easier access to support from extended family members. Should a relocation impact the ability of a parent to spend time with their children as scheduled, either parent can request that the child custody orders be modified.