Changes In Child Custody
Usually, a court decision on child custody is valid until the child turns 18. But a judge can change the court decision, or the parents can agree on changes to child custody if their situation changes over time.
Has your situation, or your childs situation, changed? This article explains possible solutions.
How Does Custody And Access Impact Moving Or Relocating
When parents have joint custody , neither parent has the right to move the child without the other parents consent, unless a court order provides otherwise. Even when the non-custodial parent only has specified access, the custodial parent should not move the child without the non-custodial parents consent.
In some cases, moving a child without the consent of a parent who has custody rights or specified access rights is a criminal offence and the offending parent may be charged with parental child abduction or breaching a court order. It is very important to consult a lawyer in these situations well before the move is to take place, as a court order may be necessary. For more information, visit the Enforcement section of this website.
Note that changes to the Divorce Act, anticipated to come into effect March 1, 2021, set out a framework to give guidance to parents and courts to help resolve disputes over relocation after separation and divorce. These will include:
- notice requirements for a proposed change of residence or relocation
- additional best interests criteria for relocation cases and
- principles to help assess whether the relocation should occur
- For example, based on how parental responsibility for the child is shared
Reasons A Judge Will Change A Child Custody Order
Child custody is not always set in stone. When parents separate or divorce, you may get an initial child custody order that outlines the custody arrangement. However, if circumstances change, the court can modify the order at any point until the child turns 18.
All it takes is for one parent to request modification with the court and for the judge to agree. The parent who wants to modify will typically make their request with the help of their family law attorney.
The court can modify the child custody order if a judge finds two facts are true:
If the judge makes these findings, they can issue the modification.
In this article, well talk about five of the most common reasons a judge in North Carolina will change a custody order.
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What If We Disagree About Custody And Visitation
If you and your spouse are having trouble reaching an agreement, you should consider mediation. A mediator specializes in helping people reach an agreement that is fair and will last. The sessions are confidential. A mediator’s role may be limited to custody. You may also ask to cover other issues such as marital property if you choose. Mediation is not appropriate in cases where there is a genuine issue of physical or sexual abuse of the child or one of the parties. It is also important to get a legal advisor for this process. The mediator’s role is not to take sides, but to bring the two sides together. Additionally, if the mediator is not an attorney, the mediator may be unaware of some specific legal issues.
Can Sole Custody Be Changed To Joint Legal After 6 Years
- Posted on Jun 23
I’m not sure whether you are asking if YOU can file for the change, or if someone else can file. What we see here of your question doesn’t make it completely clear.Generally, yes, custody can be modified. There are a few different approaches to this, which include showing that there has been a change in circumstances that makes the modification now make sense, whereas it might not have before, or where the arrangement should not have been made in the first place.Regardless, the court will be wanting to see that the modification at least does not cause harm to the child/ren, and preferably actually improves things for them.If you are the one who wants to file this, or wants to oppose it, then you should speak to an attorney confidentially to get some advice that is specific to your circumstances.
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How To Change From Joint Custody To Sole Custody
There are various types of custody arrangements, including joint custody, sole custody, legal custody, physical custody and shared custody. When opting to change from joint custody to sole custody you must prove in court that this arrangement is beneficial to your child’s physical and mental well-being whereas joint custody is not.
Hire an attorney and file an action in the court where the custody hearing was previously heard. If there is a standing court order, file a motion to modify that order. Documents will be prepared by your attorney with your help and will include the information that is needed in a change of custody motion. This is not a do-it-yourself action. There is no change of custody form that you can pick up, fill out and file with the court on your own.
Determining If You Can Force A Change In Custody
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What If A Parent Can Show There Has Been A Significant Change Of Circumstances
Does that automatically mean the judge will modify legal custody? No. The judge still has to conduct a “best interest” analysis. Right about now we could bore you to death by quoting one Family Code after another but we are not going to do that to you. Just know “best interest” is focused on the child’s health, education and general welfare. We also like to throw safety in there because we think that is pretty important when assessing what is best for a child.
What Reasons Would A Court Need To Change The Child’s Primary Residence
- The law usually requires a material change of circumstances’ before a judge will change a custody order.
- Usually the change of circumstances will be something in the residential parent’s home that has an adverse impact on the child. This can be changes such as physical abuse, use of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse or neglect.
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Changing Custody And Child Support Payments
Support payments for children are tied directly to the amount of time a child spends with each parent. These payments can be changed or cancelled if there is a change in custody or visiting rights. In some cases, the parent who received the might have to make the payments to the other parent. A government service called Service administratif de rejustement de pensions alimentaires pour enfants or SARPA lets parents change the amount of support payments for children under 18 without having to go to court.
When Sole Legal Custody Works Best
Sole legal custody often appeals to parents because of the simplicity of making decisions without having to consult anyone. However, it is not intended as a workaround for parents who have difficulty compromising.
It is meant for situations in which one parent is clearly more likely to make sound decisions. If both parents are available and fit to make reasonable decisions, the court is unlikely to grant sole legal custody.
Situations where sole legal custody works well include:
- When one parent fails to maintain contact with the children and is essentially absent from their lives
- When it’s impractical for parents to make decisions together quickly because they live in different time zones
- When a parent is unfit to make decisions for their child due to mental health issues, substance abuse or a history of neglect or abuse
Without sufficient evidence that involving the other parent in decision-making could harm your child, your chances of earning sole legal custody are slim.
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What Are Common Scenarios Where A Parent May Seek A Modification Of Legal Custody
Here are a couple we often see.
- Example number 1: the parents currently share joint legal custody on every issue but one parent has been exceedingly difficult with the other parent and simply refuses to share in the responsibility and coparent. The parent who engages in this misconduct will not agree to reasonable requests that concern legal custody. These may relate to educational issues, medical issues, etc. Hard to coparent with someone like that right?
- This situation comes up a lot. And what we typically see is one parent finally has enough and states the court should modify legal custody and take the consent provision away so that the parent who does not engage in the misconduct can have final decision making authority.
After A Court Determines Which Parent Should Have The Primary Residence Of A Child Can The Court Ever Change That
- Yes. The Court keeps the power to change the primary residence of a child until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first.
- Generally, if the parties stay in the same state, a motion to change primary custody must be filed in the same court where the divorce or paternity was determined.
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Contact Myers Law Firm If You Need Help With Child Custody In Charlotte North Carolina
At Myers Law Firm, we know how important family is. Thats why we fight to protect families just like yours. If youre fighting for custody of a child and you need help, contact us today. We can meet with you to answer your questions, help you understand your options, and create a plan for what comes next.
To schedule your initial consultation today, please call or complete our quick online contact form.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Joint Custody: Making It Work
If both you and your ex are adamant about playing a large role in your childs life, its time to argue exactly how large that role is going to be. This is where most custody cases swerve into difficult territory, as parents begin to argue about specific timeslots, rights, and considerations.
As in all things, it helps to be flexible, but you do need a few adamant positions to ensure that your ex isnt planning to steamroll you. An amicable custody agreement is always the best case scenario, but even then there may be things you need to compromise on, or negotiate together.
If you cant figure out it alone, its always best to work through legal representation. Your respective lawyers can make a better case for each of you and find ways to mediate the conflict without leading to problems for your case. Remember that being a parent includes being patient and peaceful, and any outbursts are likely to go against your favor when the time comes for an agreement to be finalized.
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Can The Parties Agree As To The Custody Plan For Their Child
- Yes, the parties may agree on the type of custody that best fits their circumstances. They may then present their agreement to the judge for approval.
- Kansas law provides a presumption that a written agreement between the parties about custody or residency of their minor child is in the child’s best interest.
Agreement Of Joint Custody Between The Parents
Parents may agree to joint custody. In this case, it is up to them to establish the terms and conditions, particularly with respect to outings or visits, depending on their availability and the circumstances. This, of course, involves speaking together frequently and making joint decisions.
If this agreement is not ratified by the court, there is no legal way to enforce it if one of the spouses does not respect it.
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Child Abuse Neglect Abandonment Or Abduction
If it’s proven a parent has abused, neglected, abandoned or abducted their child, they’ll likely lose custody. The court might even terminate their parental rights.
On the other hand, making false allegations can also provide grounds for losing custody.
Abuse takes on many forms: physical, mental, sexual, etc. Anything that jeopardizes the child’s well-being could be classified as abuse. This includes domestic violence in the child’s home, even if the child is not the victim.
Neglect is when a parent fails to perform basic caretaking duties for their child .
Abandonment is when a parent does not contact or make an effort to contact their child for an extended period of time.
Parental child abduction is when a parent hides, takes or keeps their child from the other parent in violation of the custody order.
You’ll need proof if you plan to claim that any of these offenses have occurred, since each one can lead to a criminal case.
If your child’s in immediate danger, you can request an emergency custody order.
What Are The Types Of Custody
Joint Legal Custody
- Both parties should consult each other about major decisions for the children.
- This includes, but is not limited to: where the children go to school where they go to church who their doctors are if they should be allowed to get piercings, tattoos, etc. consent to marriage whether braces are a good idea whether therapy should be sought and whether the child should receive certain medications.
- Both parents have equal access to medical and school records.
- Joint Legal Custody is the preferred method of custody in Kansas. It has nothing to do with who the children live with or the amount of time each party spends with the children.
Sole Legal Custody
- The residential parent does not have to consult with the other parent about major decisions for the children.
- Both parents have equal access to medical and school records.
- It does not give the residential parent the right to move the children without notice to the other parent. The parent still must follow the law and give 30 day notice before moving.
- This does not prevent or limit the other partys parenting time with the children.
- The Judge must make the finding that there are facts to support the awarding of sole legal custody.
Full Custody – There is no such thing as full custody in Kansas.
Divided custody – This means that one child lives with one parent and another child with the other. Each party has visitation with the child in the custody of the other. It is used in rare cases.
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Connecticut Child Custody Laws
By Kristina Otterstrom, Attorney
When parents split up or divorce in Connecticut, a judge will issue custody order to guide the parents’ future relationship. Connecticut’s child custody laws require a judge to base any custody award on a child’s best interestsnot necessarily a parent’s wishes.
Alternatively, parents can reach custody agreements on their own or with the help of a mediator. However, the parents’ agreement must be approved by a judge and adequately serve the child’s needs.
Before reaching a custody agreement on your own, you must understand the legal implications of any settlement agreement and associated custody award. Custody orders are binding and a parent who doesn’t follow the order’s terms could face legal consequences.
This article provides an overview of child custody laws in Connecticut. If you still have questions after reading this article, contact a local family law attorney for advice.
The Law On Deciding Custody And Visitation
The law says that judges must give custody according to what is in the best interest of the child.
To decide what is best for a child, the court will consider:
- The age of the child,
- The health of the child,
- The emotional ties between the parents and the child,
- The ability of the parents to care for the child,
- Any history of family violence or substance abuse, and
- The childs ties to school, home, and his or her community.
Courts do not automatically give custody to the mother or the father, no matter what the age or sex of your children. Courts cannot deny your right to custody or visitation just because you were never married to the other parent, or because you or the other parent has a physical disability or a different lifestyle, religious belief, or sexual orientation.
In addition to custody orders, the judge will probably also make child support orders. Keep in mind that a child support order is separate from child custody and visitation, so you cannot refuse to let the other parent see the children just because he or she is not making the child support payments that the court ordered. And you cannot refuse to pay child support just because the other parent is not letting you see your children. But child support and custody are related because the amount of time each parent spends with the children will affect the amount of child support. Click to read more about child support.
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