Sometimes, divorced parents want to modify a custody arrangement because the current routine no longer works for either or both of them. The couple must request a child custody modification in court. There are many reasons why a parent may want to alter the current custody agreement.
As a rule, the court does not change a child custody arrangement that appears to be working for parents and child because the court’s concern is the best interests of the child. The judge does not want to interrupt a child’s way of life and well-being unless it is necessary. A court scrutinizes the reasons a parent puts forth for altering any child custody arrangements.
However, the court considers a child custody modification if the child is in immediate danger in his or her household. In assessing the danger, the court considers domestic violence, immediate danger, and an expression by the child to relocate.
The court may also modify an order when one of the child’s parents is relocating. In this, a court examines the motivation of the relocating parent, the impact of the move on the visitation schedule and the efforts by the parents to rework it, and impact of the move on the child’s life and routines.
The court may modify a visitation schedule when one of the parents is not cooperating with the current routine. In this, the court considers the agreement reached by the parents in the parenting plan and the reasons for the failure to cooperate.
The death of the custodial parent may require a child custody modification. The noncustodial parent may assume full responsibility of the child or a third-party may receive custody of a child. Generally, a court prefers the child to remain with the noncustodial parent because it is less stressful on the child.