Custody can be complicated and things change as life moves on and children get older. Unless the parties agree, you cannot simply change a previous custody order on a whim.
The party wanting to make the change has the burden of proof. He/she must prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances since the entry of the most recent custody order. The change or changes in circumstances must be those that could not have been contemplated at the time of the entry of the most recent custody order.
Courts do not like to change custody because the most important factor to a custody court is what is in the best interest of the child. Courts do not like to change routine for a child or children. Some things that might be considered a substantial and material change in circumstances include the following:
- Domestic Abuse
- Substance Abuse
- Failure to Comply with Court Orders
- One party has moved
- The parties can no longer communicate
- Protective Orders
- DHS Findings
This list is, by no means, complete. If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney about modifying child custody, call Ellis Law Offices, P.C. or visit the website at www.ellislawpc.com
DISCLAIMER: This information is not meant to be nor should it be construed as legal advice, but rather general information on the subject matter. Statutes, case law and any other sources used to write this blog can be overruled, amended and changed over time.