What Constitutes a Substantial Change in Circumstances for Changing Custody?

In a divorce case, the number one priority to most parents is child custody. Almost every parent wishes they had more time with their children. When you get divorced, the court issues a ruling on child custody, ostensibly making a legal limit (and requirement) to how often each parent can see their child.

Child custody is written into law – but laws can be changed. Your child custody law is based on the circumstances of both of the parents in question at the time of the divorce. It is common for those circumstances to change with time, especially if they were decided when the child was very young.

There is a way to modify your child custody order to better reflect your current life circumstances, rather than those of several years ago. It requires going back to court with an attorney and asking a Judge to consider your case again. Here’s the important part: it has to be a substantial change in circumstances, and you have to present clear evidence of it.

There are plenty of examples of substantial life changes, although none of them are instantly guaranteed to be enough to get your request modified. You can have dealt with and overcame behavioral issues like neglect or abuse. You could have lost your job and are now able to be home with the children more. You could have completed mental health training and be in a better place than you were during the divorce. You might have gotten a new job and have different time demands placed on you than before.

The biggest thing is just that you have to have evidence that something has really changed. Time passing is not enough reason to justify a modification. In your petition to the court, you need to cite specific allegations of what has changed. You won’t be able to proceed to trial with a strong and substantial reason. The name of the game is proving that your life is significantly different than the last time you were in court.

If you think you have a substantial enough life change to warrant a child custody modification, contact Andrea L. Gamalski Attorney & Counselor at Law to talk it over! We can look at your situation and see if it is substantial enough to make it to trial. At Andrea L. Gamalski Attorney & Counselor at Law, we know how important spending time with your children is. We care for you, so you can care for your family and your home!

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Andrea L. Gamalski Attorneys at Law

Andrea L. Gamalski understands how important it is to have a compassionate and empathetic family law attorney who fights hard for their clients in the courtroom–mainly because she’s been one of these clients herself.

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