Child Custody Modifications
Circumstances change over time and you may need to modify your child custody arrangement as a result.
There are many reasons why you may wish to change your child custody arrangement. You might have gotten a new job with different time demands. The needs of your child may have changed for one reason or another. The reason you are seeking the child custody modification will be important in making a formal request to do so with the court. The Court made the initial child custody arrangement pursuant to the best interest of the child. To modify child custody, you must be able to show the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that merits the modification.
When you go before the judge requesting a child custody modification, one of the first questions you are going to be asked is, “Why?” What is different today than when the initial custody arrangement was made? One of the only times a judge will consider a modification without circumstances being any different is if the parents of the child have been going by a different custody arrangement than what was memorialized in the parenting plan and they want to make this alternate custody arrangement official. Otherwise, you will need to show the court that there has been a material change in circumstances. A material change in circumstances may include:
- A substantial change in the needs of the child (maybe due to injury or illness)
- A substantial change in a parent’s living arrangements
- A substantial change in a parent’s employment situation
- Failure of a parent to follow the parenting plan
After the material change in circumstances has been established, the court will consider whether the modification would be in the best interests of the child. If the court finds that the modification in child custody arrangements would indeed be in the best interests of the child in light of the material change in circumstances, the modification will be granted. It should also be noted that the court will use a heightened scrutiny when looking to modify who is the residential parent as opposed to a change in visitation schedules.
Modifying a child custody arrangement can be a critical component in being able to best serve your children and family. If you are looking to make a change in child custody, or your former spouse is suggesting changes you are unhappy with, contact the experienced Fort Worth child custody attorneys at the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker. We work with families in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. For all your child custody questions and issues, contact us today by calling (817) 332-7703 or contact us online.