Modifications in child custody arrangements occur in certain scenarios. When these situations arise, courts always focus on what is in the best interest of the child. Maybe there was a tug-of-war over child custody arrangements or maybe the parents amicably agreed upon an arrangement. But, suddenly, factors come into play, leading to the court revisiting the child custody arrangement.
You want your child to live a healthy and fulfilling life. And, sometimes, a change of “parent scenery” will benefit him or her. A modification is seriously considered in circumstances such as whether the child is in danger, whether a parent has moved as well as the death of a parent.
If a child is in danger, parent relocates
Here are some scenarios in which courts modify child custody arrangements:
- If your child is in danger by remaining in that household. In these situations, domestic violence is a factor or perhaps the parent is involved in criminal activity, using the home as a base.
- If the parent shows extreme signs of instability, perhaps as a drug or alcohol addict, or as someone who has a mental health issue such as schizophrenia and depression.
- When one parent consistently ignores the court-ordered custody and visitation schedule. A judge poorly views the lack of cooperation by a parent.
- If the custodial parent relocates, oftentimes with a remarriage. With an out-of-state move, courts consider whether the relocation is in the best interest of the child, especially looking into how it will interrupt the child’s life. In certain circumstances, the non-relocating parent may secure custody.
- When the custodial parent dies. The courts prefer that the child then lives with the non-custodial parent as it likely provides less turmoil in the child’s life. However, the court will determine other arrangements if the child is unable to live with the non-custodial parent. In this scenario, the judge may review whether the non-custodial parent is able to financially support the child or whether the child requests to live with a third party.
- And in certain cases, when the child is old enough to no longer need custody. Perhaps the child is an 18-year-old adult who shows signs of being able to take care of himself or herself. Or perhaps it is an emancipation of a minor case in which the minor child becomes legally recognized as a mature and independent adult.
Your child’s formative years are important for you and for him or her. If changes must be made in child custody arrangements, please pursue them. Your child likely will be happier and healthier.