One of the most challenging aspects of the divorce process is reaching an agreement on child custody. If parents are unable to find any common ground, the family court will intervene and implement a custody order that meets the best interests of the child.
Whichever way the custody arrangement has been decided, it is legally binding once the court has signed off on it. Unfortunately, there are occasions where the custody order will just not work out in practice. In such a scenario, can the court make modifications?
In short, the answer is yes, but only under certain conditions.
If the child is in any sort of danger
As previously stated, the family court’s custody decisions center around the best interests of the child. There is no unilateral definition of this term, but safety is certainly the most crucial component. If there is any tangible evidence that the child is in danger, then the court can and will modify the terms of custody. For instance, if one parent has become abusive, violent or neglectful toward the child.
If the child has outgrown the order
Children develop quickly and their needs will be quite different one year to the next. The courts are aware of this so could be willing to make changes if the child needs something different from their parents. Children need a more hands-on approach in their infanthood, but will gradually start to gain more independence. A custody order needs to reflect this.
There are several other reasons why the court may modify custody, but the best interests of the child are always prioritized. If you are looking for more information on how to request a modification, don’t hesitate to seek some legal guidance.