How Do I Modify a Custody or Parenting Plan?
Circumstances can arise in which a need or desire to change an existing child custody order arises. There are certain ways in which a change can be sought to a child custody order.
The Best Interests of the Child Standard
When it comes to determining a child custody issue, including a divorce modification to alter a custodial arrangement or modify a parenting plan, a court applies what is known as the best interests of the child standard. This standard is utilized in child custody matters in all jurisdictions in the United States.
The best interests of the child standard requires the court to consider a number of factors when establishing or modifying child custody or a parenting plan. These factors include such things as which parent historically has been the primary caretaker of a child as well as the overall physical, mental, and emotional health of the parties.
Methods to Modify an Existing Child Custody Order
There are two general ways in which an existing child custody order can be modified. First, the parents can reach an agreement to develop a modified custody agreement. Second, if the parents cannot reach a modified custody agreement, a parent can file a motion with the court to modify or change custody.
If parents agree to a revised parenting plan, the court still must approve the divorce modification as it pertains to child custody. The court must determine that the alteration agreed to by the parents is in fact in the best interests of the child.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, and a motion is filed to alter or amend a custody order, the court will schedule a hearing on the matter.The parents will have the opportunity to present evidence in support of their respective positions regarding the request to change custody. After these presentations, the court makes a decision regarding changing custody.
Contact the lawyers at OKLG we can help plan out a visitation scheduled that will work for everyone.