The highest priority of the family law court when determining child custody, or child custody modifications, is what is in the best interests of the child. Because parents may want to modify their parenting plan, they should know when and how child custody modifications may be possible.
How to modify child custody
Post-divorce modifications to child custody, visitation and child support may all be possible in certain circumstances. Either parent can request a modification and the parents may also agree to a modification. It will be up to the family law court to confirm the modification which will also be evaluated to determine if it is in the best interests of the child. Factors used to determine when a child custody modification will be made include:
- A significant change in circumstances for the parents or child;
- Any emergency concerning the child;
- If the proposed change would be positive for the child; and
- If the proposed change would be in the best interests of the child.
The family law court may also look to see if the parents have already substantially deviated from the child custody plan, any adaption the child has made to a change and if the change is in the best interests of the child. The family law court will avoid disruption in the child’s life whenever possible and focus on what living arrangement is best for them.
How to modify child support
Like child custody, child support can also be modified in certain situations and circumstances. Child support can be modified based on a significant change in financial circumstances which could be the loss of a job for the parent or a significant change in the child’s needs. Whether the parents want to modify child custody or child support, they should be familiar with the process and how a modification request will be handled.