A child custody order may suit your circumstances for a while, though situations change and certain provisions of your custody arrangement may not be appropriate or feasible. If you would like to modify your child custody order, you need to take certain legal steps. If you simply start refusing to comply with the existing order, you could face consequences with the court. Instead, consult with a child custody lawyer in Carlsbad regarding the next steps you should take toward a modification.
Your first step will often be to discuss a possible agreement with the other parent. If you and the other parent both agree to terms of a modification, you can submit the updated agreement to the court for approval. If the other parent contests the modification, you must petition the court to modify the order.
Courts will only modify child custody orders if the situation meets two main criteria:
- A significant change of circumstances justifies the modification
- The modification is in the best interests of the child
The first requirement is in place to protect children from major changes in their custody arrangements at any whim of their parents. The “best interest” standard applies to almost every child-related decision in California family courts.
Your attorney can review your options before heading to court, such as engaging in mediation or out-of-court negotiations with the other parent to try to reach an agreement. If you cannot agree, your attorney can represent you in front of the judge to support your claim that a modification is necessary.
Speak with a Family Lawyer in Carlsbad Today
The McKinnon Law Firm handles all types of child-related legal matters, from initial custody orders to modifications. Call 760.707.3373 or contact us online to schedule an appointment and discuss your options with an experienced Carlsbad child custody attorney today.