How to Change a Court Order For Child Custody 

If your situation has changed since the original court order, you can request a child custody modification. In some cases, this is necessary if the child’s needs or circumstances have changed significantly. Other courts may be less strict and require only that the parents agree to the change. However, some states place time limits on modifying a child custody order. In Illinois and Virginia, for example, a modification can only occur after six months. 

Reasons to change a court order for child custody 

Sometimes the needs of a child can change, and parents may request to change a court order for child custody. This can be because the child grows up and needs more medical care or education support. There are also circumstances where the child may need to live with one parent for the early years of their life, while another parent may be better suited for their high school years. The court may also consider a request for modification if one parent has a substance abuse problem, which can seriously affect the child’s life. 

If a parent has repeatedly skipped scheduled visits, for example, a court may decide to modify the order for that parent. If the child is demonstrating a lack of responsibility or behavior that is detrimental to the child, the judge may put the parent on trial and make the exchanges less frequent. Similarly, if the other parent lives in a better school district, the court can change the physical custody of the child. 

Evidence needed to support a modification 

The evidence needed to support a modification of a child custody order can vary from case to case. For example, if a parent is aware that their children may be exposed to violence, they can request changes in custody arrangements. Other evidence can include a move with the current custodial parent to a neighborhood that is unsafe. 

In addition to a parent’s testimony, there must also be evidence that the present environment of the children poses a danger to their well-being and emotional development. Typically, the evidence must date back to the last custody proceeding, but in some cases, parents can file for a custody modification earlier. 

Sometimes, parents may need to request a modification of their child custody order because the current arrangement is no longer working for them. Perhaps they’ve changed jobs or moved closer to the other parent for work. Whatever the reason, a modification of a court order must be in the best interests of the children. 

Getting the other parent’s permission to move 

If you need to move out of state with your children, you should get the other parent’s permission before doing so. This is important because a court cannot order a parent to remain in the same state, so it is important to get the other parent’s permission to move. The move must also be in the child’s best interests. 

The first step in changing a custody order is obtaining the other parent’s consent to relocate. In most states, parents need to file a formal request with the court to do so. The court will review the case and will decide if the new location is in the child’s best interest. If the move is not in the best interest of the child, the judge will deny the relocation request. 

While relocation does not necessarily mean moving out of state, it does mean any move that significantly changes the geographic relationship between the parents. Even within the same metropolitan area, a move may separate the parents by 45 minutes. This distance could potentially complicate the child’s relationship with the other parent.