Troy Child Custody Modifications Lawyer
Child custody cases are challenging and often hotly disputed. After deciding all of the terms related to child custody, parents may be relieved to have completed the process. However, if the family situation changes, the agreement may no longer be in anyone’s best interests. When this happens, it is time to create an updated agreement with the aid of a skilled child custody attorney.
In many cases, parents will not agree about proposed modifications, which can lead to a new legal battle. A Troy child custody modifications lawyer can help you pursue or prevent potential modifications of a custody agreement.
When Are Modifications Appropriate?
If parties disagree about whether they should change a custody arrangement, a court will evaluate the specific set of circumstances to decide whether to make any proposed alterations. The main requirement is that certain circumstances have indeed changed, leading to the need for a modification. Courts require this because they frown upon attempts to relitigate custody, which can be expensive and stressful.
A substantial change may include a relocation. If the parties live farther away from one another, the original plan may no longer be workable. If a custodial parent took a job that involves travel or long and unpredictable hours, the home environment may no longer be suitable for their child(ren).
In cases of abuse, parental drug use, or neglect, courts will also modify agreements. The parent who wants to modify a custody agreement will have the burden of showing that a change occurred that led to the need for the alterations. A local child custody modifications attorney may help to meet that requirement.
The Best Interests of the Children Standard
Merely indicating that the circumstances in the family have changed is insufficient to succeed in a child custody modification case. When courts approved the initial custody agreement, they reviewed the proposed plan regarding what is in the child(ren)’s best interests. In this respect, modifications are no different.
Once a parent seeking modifications shows that changes exist, they must demonstrate that their proposed updates to the parenting plan will serve the child(ren)’s best interests. It is possible that a change occurred but that the old plan is still sufficient, or that a a different modification would best suit the child(ren)’s interests. For example, a parent might have taken a more demanding job involving lots of travel, and the other parent wants more custody time as a result.
If the court changes the custodial parent, that modification may cause the child(ren) to change schools. The court may find that this shift will not benefit the child(ren). A Troy modified custody arrangement lawyer can look at a case and evaluate the possible need to modify custody or avoid such updates to an agreement.
When Children Get a Say in Custody
Sometimes, the move to modify an agreement could be due to the fact that a child wants to spend more time with a non-custodial parent. Courts will not place much value on the opinion of a very young child, but around the age of twelve (12), children will start to have a say in the arrangement. If an older child or teenager wants to modify custody, the court may consider their wishes.
Seek Help from a Troy Child Custody Modifications Attorney
Life is full of changes, and even when the terms of custody exist in a binding contract, problems can still arise. Courts will look at requests to modify custody with an emphasis on what is best for the child(ren). If you are looking to change a prior agreement, contact a Troy child custody modifications lawyer. An attorney may explain the options you have for making alterations to your parenting plan.