Sometimes a child custody or visitation order becomes impractical or inappropriate. In these situations, you may be able to change to modify the order to better benefit you and your family. However, you must meet specific rules and requirements before your custody or visitation order can be modified.
Modification of Child Custody or Visitation Orders
Once a child visitation order is issued, both parents must follow its terms. However, as time passes, child custody and visitation orders may need to be modified if a child’s needs or wishes change or a parent relocates out of state, making visitation difficult. In these situations, an order can be modified.
To modify a custody order, you must file a petition to modify with the court. Custody and visitation orders may be modified if:
- Both parents agree to a modification, or
- The court approves one parent’s petition to modify.
However, courts are limited in their ability to modify custody orders. In some states, there is a waiting period before modification is permitted. Typically, you cannot modify a custody order without evidence of a significant change in circumstances. Examples of these circumstances include:
- Changes in a child’s emotional and developmental needs
- A dramatic job change or relocation
- Evidence of child abuse or domestic violence
- Concerns about the safety or stability of one parent’s home
- One parent is in clear violation of the custody order
Once the court receives a petition to modify a custody order, it determines what is in the best interest of the child. Modifications are made only when the current order is no longer in a child’s best interest. It is important that you request modification of a custody order only when necessary. If you can negotiate a voluntary modification with the other parent, you can avoid costly legal fees. If the modification process is strife with contention, you must contact our Clearwater divorce lawyers Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. today. An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the complexities of custody and visitation order modification and protect your best interests.
Call (727) 245-9009 or contact us online for a free consultation.