Custody orders are legally put in place when two married people who share children divorce, parents who share children end their relationship, or when paternity of a child is established. After an initial custody order is filed through the court, you can't make changes to it without going through the legal system. If you hope to amend a current custody order, it is in your best interest to seek the services of a child custody attorney.
Some of the reasons you can petition the court to change a custody order include:
Your Child Is in Danger
When a child is not sharing a home with both parents under one roof, the court system typically tries to ensure that the child gets quality time and visitation with both parents. However, if a child is in danger in one parent's household, the other parent can petition to have the child custody order changed. Dangerous situations can include things such as abuse/domestic violence or a parent who can't properly provide care due to an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Depending on the age of the child, the court may also allow a custody modification if a child says that he or she no longer feels safe or comfortable during the time he or she lives with one parent.
The Other Parent Is Not Following Terms of Custody Order
When children split time living with each parent, keeping a routine is important to provide kids with stability and routine. If your child's other parent is continually violating the terms of the custody order that is in place, the court may grant you a modification to the custody order. The court will often review the current custody order, try to discover why one parent is not following the visitation schedule, and evaluate communication between parents. It is in your best interest to keep notes and write down the dates that your child's other parent violates the custody order to use as evidence.
The Other Parent Relocated
If you hope to relocate to a new area, you will need to go to court for a modification to the current custody order. The court will ask questions about the reason for your move, such as whether it is a work relocation or a personal choice. If you want to move so you can discover living in a new area, your best bet is to speak with your child's other parent and come to an agreement on a new visitation schedule before you submit your modification request to the court.