Child Custody Modifications

Child custody orders can be modified if there is a change of circumstances. The child's parents can petition the court for a child custody modification. The family court will grant the modification if it is determined the change in the parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.

This section provides an overview of modifying a custody court order. You will find information about the process and more articles and resources about state relocation laws. Find out how courts handle out-of-state moves with children. Read about the common reasons for child custody modification. Learn about how custody orders relate to child support orders below.

The Standard for Determining Child Custody Modifications

Regardless of the reason for ordering a child custody modification, the court will decide in the child's best interests. The court will prioritize placing the child in a stable, safe environment conducive to the well-being and welfare of the child. There are several factors the court will consider to determine how the child custody order will look, such as:

  • The child's needs
  • The physical health and mental health of each parent
  • The parent's ability to provide adequate care to the child
  • The child's preference (if the child is old enough, according to state law)
  • Any evidence of parental substance abuse, domestic violence, or child abuse
  • Whether any child support modifications will negatively affect the child's life
  • Whether the current order is causing harm to the child

Sometimes, parents need to change custody arrangements temporarily. The court can modify the court order with the stipulation that the change is temporary. Visitation orders can be modified, too, as well as child support orders.

Get Legal Help With Child Custody Modifications

Child custody modifications can be difficult to navigate. A lawyer with experience in family law can help tremendously. Family law attorneys can help you petition the court for custody of a child. They can provide helpful legal advice to guide you through your custody battle. They will advise you about your parental rights. Most law offices offer an initial consultation for free.

Talk to a child custody attorney today.


Was this helpful?

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Both parents can seek custody of their children — with or without an attorney
  • An attorney can help get the custody and visitation agreement you want
  • An attorney will advocate for your rights as a parent

A lawyer can help protect your rights and your children's best interests. Many attorneys offer free consultations.

Find a local attorney

Don't Forget About Estate Planning

Once new child custody arrangements are in place, it’s an ideal time to create or change your estate planning forms. Take the time to add new beneficiaries to your will and name a guardian for any minor children. Consider creating a financial power of attorney so your agent can pay bills and provide for your children. A health care directive explains your health care decisions and takes the decision-making burden off your children when they become adults.

Start Planning