Child custody orders often require modifications for a variety of different reasons. Because circumstances change and unforeseen issues sometimes arise, it may be necessary to seek a change of custody. In order to obtain a change in custody that is legally binding, you must comply with certain procedures and a court must make certain findings. For assistance with pursuing a change in custody, you should seek out the assistance of a Pleasanton Family Lawyer from Tierney Law Group.
What are some common reasons for seeking a change in custody?
A change in custody may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Some common events that may give rise for a custody modification include:
- A parent relocating
- Changes in the wishes of the parent
- A parent not following the custody schedule
- A parent not being available during their custodial time
- A parent facing legal problems
- Substance abuse issues
- Changes in work schedules
- Instability in the life of a parent
- Domestic violence issues in a home
What is required to obtain a change of custody?
In order to have a court change an existing custody order, it must find that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that the requested modification is in the best interest of the children. If these two criteria cannot be shown, then the court will not change the custody order. A Pleasanton family law attorney can provide legal advice to explain how this applies in your case.
Many of the reasons listed above may be sufficient for a court to find the required change in circumstances. In general, the change must be something that effects the child and the custody situation. Courts are generally open to considering various events to find that this requirement has been satisfied.
If the court determines that there has been a change in circumstances, then it must next find that the requested modification is in the children’s best interest. In assessing this question, a court will consider several factors. This may include:
- The wishes of each parent
- The wishes of the child
- The need to promote stability and continuity in the child’s life
- The interrelationship of the child with the parents and their siblings
- The characters of the parties and other persons involved
- The adjustments required of the child with the requested modification
- Whether there are issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental instability
- Any other relevant information
A Pleasanton divorce and family law attorney can assist in helping you present evidence of these factors. After the court considers this information, it will order the modification if the evidence demonstrates that the modification serves the child’s best interest.
What is the process to change custody?
To seek a change of custody, you must file a petition with the court to seek modification. The petition must set forth certain information, including the custody schedule and terms that you are seeking. The petition is then served on the other parent and they are provided with an opportunity to respond.
If the other party does not respond, then you can seek a judgment by default. If the other party does respond and they contest the modification, then you must seek court approval for the change. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, then a hearing will be held and the judge will decide.
To ensure that your custody modification is done correctly, you should seek out a child custody lawyer in Pleasanton CA. A child custody attorney in Pleasanton CA can provide legal representation and advice.
Contact us to speak with an experienced Pleasanton CA family law attorney about your case.