Professional Child Custody Modifications Attorney in Los Angeles
What is Child Custody Modification?
Child custody modification is a legal process that allows parents to change the terms of their existing child custody agreement. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as a change in circumstances, a child’s needs, or a disagreement between the parents.
When is Child Custody Modification Possible?
In California, child custody modifications are only possible if there has been a material change in circumstances since the original custody order was entered. This means that there must have been a significant change in the lives of the parents or the child that makes the current custody arrangement no longer in the child’s best interests.
Some examples of material changes in circumstances that may justify a child custody modification include:
- A change in the parent’s income or employment status
- A change in the child’s health or educational needs
- A parent’s relocation
- A parent’s substance abuse or domestic violence problems
- A child’s preference for living with one parent over the other
How to Request a Child Custody Modification?
To request a child custody modification, the parent must file a petition with the family court. The petition must state the reasons for the requested modification and the new custody arrangement that the parent is seeking.
Once the petition is filed, the other parent will have the opportunity to respond. The court may then order a mediation session in an attempt to help the parents reach an agreement on their own. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the modification is warranted.
What Factors Will the Court Consider?
In deciding whether to grant a child custody modification, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:
- The best interests of the child
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s wishes (if the child is old enough and mature enough to express them)
- The parents’ ability to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs
- Any history of domestic violence or child abuse
How Can a Child Custody Modification Attorney Help?
A child custody modification attorney can help you navigate the legal process and advocate for your interests in court. An attorney can also help you understand your rights and options, and develop a strategy for achieving your goals.
If you are considering requesting a child custody modification, contact WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC in Los Angeles today for a free consultation.
Common Reasons for Child Custody Modification
While any material change in circumstances may be grounds for a child custody modification, some of the most common reasons for seeking a modification include:
- Relocation: If one parent needs to relocate for work or other reasons, the other parent may seek a modification to the custody agreement to ensure that they are still able to maintain a close relationship with their child.
- Change in income: If one parent’s income has significantly increased or decreased, the other parent may seek a modification to the child support order.
- Change in employment status: If one parent loses their job or goes back to school, the other parent may seek a modification to the custody schedule to accommodate the change.
- Change in the child’s needs: If the child’s health or educational needs have changed, the parents may need to modify the custody agreement to ensure that the child’s needs are being met.
- Substance abuse or domestic violence: If one parent is struggling with substance abuse or domestic violence, the other parent may seek a modification to the custody agreement to protect the child.
- Child’s preference: If the child is old enough and mature enough to express their preference for living with one parent over the other, the court may consider the child’s wishes when making a custody decision.
How to Prepare for a Child Custody Modification Hearing
If your case goes to a hearing, there are a few things you can do to prepare:
- Gather evidence to support your case. This may include documentation of the material change in circumstances, such as a new job offer, a change in income, or a letter from a doctor stating that your child has special needs.
- Be prepared to testify about your case. This includes being able to explain why the current custody arrangement is no longer in the child’s best interests and why the new custody arrangement that you are seeking is in the child’s best interests.
- Dress professionally and be respectful to the court.
WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC: Your Child Custody Modification Attorney in Los Angeles
If you are considering requesting a child custody modification, contact WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC in Los Angeles today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your rights and options, and develop a strategy for achieving your goals.