When a couple files for divorce and has children under the age of eighteen, the court usually decides on a child custody arrangement. A child custody arrangement determines who the legal parent is, the parenting and visitation rights of the other parent, and other things. The court considers the child’s best interest when approving an order.
However, life is subject to change, and situations do not remain the same forever. If the child custody arrangement does not serve the child’s best interest after a certain period, the court may modify it. Consult with a divorce lawyer Birmingham to understand the criteria for modifications.
Situations when a judge may allow modifications in child custody
- There has been a change in the parent’s life.
Changes can happen in people’s lives. However, if the change harms the child, the court will modify the child custody agreement. For example, suppose the parents are healthy and an ideal mother/father at the time when the decision was approved. However, they develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol over the years. Then they become unfit as a parent.
These are the types of changes that trigger a modification. Changes like this can cause a parent to lose custody in Birmingham.
- The custodial parent is physically relocating with your child.
If your ex-spouse is moving to another city or state or any place that makes it difficult for you to exercise your parental rights, you can file a request for modification. While a mere relocation is not enough for the judge to modify the custody arrangement, filing the right claims can help. The court may consider your request if you can prove one of the following:
- The relocation will have a negative impact on your child’s life.
- The relocation will make it challenging for you to complete your parental duties and follow the prevalent visitation schedule.
- There are new changes in your child’s needs.
As a parent’s life can change, so can a child’s. The needs of an infant are very different from that of a teenager. If you can demonstrate that your child’s needs have drastically changed since the time the arrangement was made, they may make a modification.
If the current terms affect your child’s emotional, mental, or physical health, you may have grounds for modification. For example, the custodial parent may live in an area suited for a child with special needs, while the other may live in closer proximity to medical facilities.
Attorneys understand how difficult it can be to see your child in discomfort. If you wish to change the child custody arrangements, you certainly can. Contact an attorney today.