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Is it Time to Modify Your Child Custody Order?

| Aug 12, 2020 | Child Custody |

After parties get divorced and begin the transition of adjusting to a new way of living, several things can happen. One, the court order regarding physical and legal custody of the children works well for both parents. They move on with their lives, are able to co-parent effectively, and the children experience a smooth transition. The court never hears from those families again. Two, after a few rough patches and bumps in the road, parents and children finally get their bearings, and the family functions well. The court never hears from those families again. Finally, either things go awry immediately or something happens along the way that requires one or both parents to return to court and ask for a change in the custody order. The latter is most often the case.

When a modification becomes necessary, that is the time to call an attorney. Even if the parents agree on a modification of the original order, the court will still want to approve the changes. In such a case, it is a pretty easy legal process. An attorney will be able to draft an agreement for the parties that will take all the statutory factors into consideration. Having an attorney draft the stipulation makes it more likely that the court will adopt the modification without lengthy time spent in court. The difficulty comes when one or both parents want a change but they are unable to agree on what the new arrangement will be. That is when it becomes imperative to call an attorney. You want to make sure your and your children’s rights are protected.

Why Modify Your Court Order?

There are many reasons why spouses might seek to modify their divorce order, such as the following:

  • Child abuse or domestic violence
  • One party moves
  • Change in schools
  • Job loss
  • Work schedule change
  • Substantial Illness affecting ability to parent
  • One party not using placement time
  • Unhealthy living environment
  • Other changed circumstances

The court will not modify a child custody order unless the modification is in the best interests of the child and there is a substantial change in one or more of the factors that the court considers when originally determining custody. Depending on how long the original order has been in place, you may not recall what factors were used in the original determination. Our lawyers will explain each and every factor to you and apply the facts in your particular situation to them.

What Factors Does the Court Consider?

When determinig child custody arrangements based on the best interests of the childinvolved, courts generally conisder the following factors:

  • The age and sex of the child
  • The wishes of the child’s parent and parents
  • The wishes of the child
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests
  • The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  • Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent
  • Whether there has been a de facto custodian
  • Designation in a power of attorney

Contact an Experienced Child Custody Modification Attorney Today

If you believe your situation requires a change to your current court order, give us a call today. Even if perhaps you are not sure if your circumstances warrant a change, make that call. Our experienced attorneys in Indiana are ready to discuss your unique situation and help you determine whether a modification is right for you. We will help you navigate the complex legal system to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your children. Pick up the phone today or visit www.mccrea-mccrea.com.