At the end of your divorce proceedings, you walked away with a custody agreement that may not give you as much time with your children as you would like. However, the court put the child custody order in place because it was thought best for the kids. Some time has passed and you feel a change is in order. Can you seek a child custody modification?
In the state of California, it is possible to seek adjustments to custody orders. Of course, any changes made still need to serve the best interests of your children. How can you go about seeking a modification?
Option number one: Talk things out with your ex
Going to court to seek a custody adjustment may not be necessary. You can attempt to negotiate new terms either in private or in mediation. If you and your ex can come to agreeable terms, all you need to do is file a new agreement with the court so that is becomes legally binding.
Option number two: Litigate
Not all parents agree on what is best for their kids. If you want a custody adjustment but your ex does not, you may need to take the matter to court for a judge to decide if a modification would be of benefit. If you wish to litigate the issue, you need to file an official custody adjustmentment request. You can do this by:
- Filing the appropriate forms
- Having your application reviewed by legal counsel
- Filing the forms in court
- Paying the necessary court fees
- Scheduling a hearing
- Having the papers served
- Filing the proof of service
- Attending the hearing
Failing to complete each of these tasks can result in request denial.
What the court wants to know
Before a judge grants a custody modification, he or she will want to know why you made the request in the first place. You need to have a good reason for the desired changes, and you need to have evidence that supports your position. At the end of the day, adjustments to custody orders will only occur if the requested changes will be of benefit to your children.
You do not have to go it alone
You may feel alone when fighting for fair access to your children. Know that you are not alone. You have every right to seek help filing, negotiating or litigating your child custody modification request.