Modifying custody in California

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Child Custody |

If you have minor children, you will need to have your child custody arrangement approved by the court as part of your divorce. Once a final custody order has been signed by the judge, both parents are legally required to follow the terms of the order.

However, as your child gets older, their needs may change. You and your ex may also experience certain life changes as the years go by. As a result of these changes, you may want to modify your child custody arrangement.

Reasons for court to approve a custody modification

California courts will generally not approve a custody or parenting order modification unless there is a significant change in circumstances and the modification would serve the best interest the child.

Here are a few possible reasons for modifying a custody order:

  • Child is in danger, physically or emotionally
  • Non-custodial parent moved closer to the child
  • Parent’s job schedule changed
  • Parent is suffering from health issues
  • Parent needs to relocate
  • Parent is not properly caring for the child
  • Parent is failing to follow terms of the current order

If your child custody arrangment is no longer working for you, you may consider filing for a modification of your custody agreement. If you and your ex-spouse agree to change the current plan, it is important that you have your new custody agreement approved by the judge. If you do not seek court approval, your new agreement will not be legally enforceable. In such cases, it would be easy for your ex to agree to new terms, but later claim that you kidnapped your child or breached your existing agreement.


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