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Can a custody order be modified?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | CUSTODY & VISITATION - Child Custody

You and your spouse are going to have to sort out financial matters and property division during your divorce. However, as parents, your priority will be resolving child custody issues. Hopefully, you’ll come up with a schedule that the court can sign off on. Failing that, the court will step in and come to a ruling based on the best interests of the child.

But what if the resulting custody schedule does not work? Can a custody order be modified?

The needs of children change rapidly

A one-year-old child will need a much different level of care than a child who is two. The needs of a child who is five are again much different, and so on. Children develop rapidly and the family courts are more than aware of this. Hence, while child custody orders are legally binding, they can be modified if the needs of the child have changed. For instance, a young child may need a lot of hands-on time with both parents. Whereas, an older child will have a lot more independence.

Are there safety concerns?

Unfortunately, the divorce hit your ex really hard emotionally. They’ve been drinking a lot and you suspect they might be depressed. You know that they wouldn’t deliberately hurt your child but they just aren’t in the right frame of mind to look after children just now. An accident seems imminent and you’re concerned about the safety of your child. This is a legitimate reason to modify custody and the court will certainly consider making changes if the child is in any sort of danger.

Custody orders center around the best interests of the child. If you are concerned that these are not being fulfilled, then it may benefit you to seek some legal guidance.