The 1 to Call... When You Need A Lawyer.

May I petition the court for a child custody modification?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Family Law |

Sometimes, life does not go as planned. The fact that you are dealing with child custody is testament enough that an unexpected situation arose at some point in your life – divorce. This remains true even after the court has made a ruling on custody.

Pennsylvania court views shared custody favorably since it considers contact with both parents to be in the child’s best interest. That said, the state’s law allows you to seek custody modification under certain circumstances. All you need to do is convince the court your petition to modify custody will ultimately benefit the child.

Here are instances when you can petition the court for custody modification in Pennsylvania.

When the other parent is alienating you from your child

Parental alienation happens when one parent attempts to keep the other parent from the child’s life. While parental alienation can take multiple forms, the underlying theme is that the other parent, unjustifiably, is waging an active campaign to ruin the child’s relationship with the other parent. Possible consequences of parental alienation may include the following:

  • Revocation of custody if the custodial parent is found guilty of alienation
  • Restriction or removal of visitation rights if the non-custodial parent is found guilty of alienation

Drug and substance abuse

A parent who is struggling with drug and substance abuse can seriously affect the child’s life and overall wellbeing. This is especially true if the parent in question is the custodial parent. If the court or the other parent is concerned about a parent’s drug and substance abuse, the court may consider reviewing the existing custody arrangement. The outcome of the custody modification petition may include:

  • Change of custody
  • Limit the parent’s access to the child

A child custody order is a living document that may be modified if an appropriate petition is brought before the court. However, like in any legal matter, prosecuting or defending a modification petition requires skill.