Bradley Hull IV, Esq. of Cavitch, Familo & Durkin Co. LPA

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When can I request a child custody modification?
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There can be many situations where a parent is unhappy with the child custody arrangement for their child. But not all of these situations mean that the parent can do anything about it. For example, if a parent has been abusing drugs and their child has been removed from their care, they will likely be unhappy about this. But if they are continuing to abuse drugs and, therefore, continue to pose a risk to their child, there will be nothing that they can do about this.

This is because the child custody courts prioritize the best interests of the child at all times, and for good reason. While it is usually in the best interests of the child to have a relationship with both parents, a parent will lose their custody rights and potentially their visitation rights if they pose a physical or emotional risk to their child. That being said, it may be possible for you to modify the child custody arrangement that applies to your children if you can document a change of circumstances. The following is an overview of the basics of child custody modification.

A change in circumstances

You will not have any chance of modifying a child custody arrangement unless you can show that a change of circumstances has occurred. For example, if you were not given a large portion of visitation with your child because of your demanding work schedule, a change in your job could mean that you are able to request a modification to spend more time with them.

The focus is always on the child’s best interests

The courts will always question how a change in the arrangement will benefit the child. They will also want to avoid altering a child’s routine unless it presents a clear benefit for their physical or emotional well-being.

If you are unhappy with your current child custody arrangement, make sure that you are able to present a clear change of circumstances so that you are able to get the result that you are aiming for.