Valid reasons for seeking a change in child custody agreement

Parents whose existing child custody agreement doesn't work well for them can speak to a lawyer who specialises in family law about seeking a child custody modification in a family court. There are a number of reasons why one of the parents may wish to change the existing child custody arrangement. Here are three reasons why.

The child's best interests

Typically, no family court will consider modifying a child custody agreement that works well for both parents and the child. Most importantly, the concern of the court lies in the best interests of the child. This means no court will want to disrupt the child's lifestyle and well-being for petty reasons. Your reason for modifying a custody agreement should be in the best interests of your child to boost the prospects of the family court finally ordering an amendment to the existing custody ruling.

The demise of a custodial parent

In the unfortunate event that a custodial parent passes on, modification of the child custody agreement is essential given that the family court has to decide whether the non-custodial parent assumes full custody of the child or a third party is afforded the responsibility of living with the child. Family courts normally would rather have the non-custodial parent remain with the child since it will result in less stress on the life of the child. Nevertheless, the court may look at other custody options, if the non-custodial parent is unable to assume full responsibility for the child due to any of reasons mentioned below:

  • The non-custodial parent lives in another state or country far from the custodial parent.
  • The non-custodial parent lacks a job or engages in serious drug abuse which makes it impractical for him or her to be granted child custody.
  • The child prefers to live with a third-party rather than the non-custodial parent.

The child is exposed to danger

The court is likely to seriously mull over a child custody amendment if the child is exposed to harm in the custodial home. In evaluating the danger, the court will look at these aspects:

  • Whether the threat of danger to the kid is immediate
  • Whether there's domestic abuse in the custodial home
  • Whether the child is adamant that they are unwilling to remain in the custodial home, due to the risk of violence or mistreatment.

Remember, petitions for change of orders could either be challenged or unchallenged. That's why parents should consider mediation prior to filing a new custody case.