Southern California Family Law

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Southern California Family Law

How To Modify a Child Custody Order

Custody - December 22, 2020

How To Modify a Child Custody Order

When a divorce involves children, one of the most significant issues in the case is the determination of child custody and visitation. Important questions arise such as where will the children live?  How much time with the children spend with each parent?  

While the original agreement or order may work for the family for a time, circumstances may change in the months and years following the divorce. These changes may necessitate a modification of the existing child custody and visitation orders. 

If you would like to learn more about how to modify an existing child custody and visitation order, call or contact the Simpson Law Group today to schedule a case consultation.

When to Modify.

By the time the divorce is finished, a custody and visitation order will be in place whether by agreement of the parents or by court order.  A modification of that child custody and visitation order typically occurs, if at all, many months or even years after the initial custody order is finalized.  In order to bring a motion before the court seeking to modify an existing custody and visitation order, the moving party must show there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the prior order was put into effect.  

Proving a Substantial Change in Circumstances

When determining whether a modification of an existing child custody order is necessary, the judge will look at the evidence through the lens of whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the prior order was made. In order to qualify as a substantial change, the circumstances must be material, significant and are usually unanticipated at the time of the initial order. The change in circumstances can apply to either parent or the children involved in the case.

What Qualifies for Modification?

There are many situations which qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. Some examples include the relocation of either parent, a parent’s new job with a substantially different work schedule, and significant changes to the child’s schedule and/or activities as they age.

There are also many situations which do not qualify as a substantial change in circumstances. Common examples include small changes in a child’s schedule, short term changes or circumstances, or the remarriage of either parent. 

An experienced California family law attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine whether your situation qualifies for a modification of your existing child custody and visitation order.

Child Custody Order Questions? Call or Contact the Simpson Law Group Now.

Would you like to speak with a knowledgeable California family law attorney about a potential modification to your child custody and visitation order? If so, the highly qualified lawyers at Simpson Law Group are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.

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