Modification of Child Custody
Information from a Rockwall Divorce Lawyer
Before divorce can be finalized,
child custody must be established. The process of doing so can be lengthy, and it could involve hours of investigation and thorough research into the couple's current lifestyles. In all cases, the courts always act in the best interests of the children involved, which means that many circumstances will be taken into consideration in order to establish which parent is best fit to maintain custody of their child / children.
Unfortunately, despite the meticulous efforts that are made by professionals in the field, there is no way to guarantee that the custodial rights that are established at the time of divorce will be sufficient long-term. In fact, many circumstances could arise in which the living conditions, emotional stability, or financial wellbeing of one parent no longer accommodate the custodial rights that they currently hold. When this is the case, a Rockwall divorce attorney should be involved immediately.
Major vs. Minor Modification
Officially changing the terms and conditions of a custodial agreement is taken very seriously; so seriously, in fact, that it is almost always considered to be a major request by the court. Parenting plans are carefully put in place upon divorce, or at the time that a child is born to an unwed couple. Therefore, the courts do not eagerly pursue modifications of any degree; however, they do allow for changes when the situation calls for it.
A request to have the terms of your child custody agreement is big enough to warrant major change. That being said, it could be more difficult to enact child custody modification. A request to have a smaller amendment made- for example, changing the terms of your current visitation rights - is considered to be only a minor modification. As such, this could be an easier type of modification to carry out in court. No matter what, parents who are looking to modify the terms and conditions of a current child custody agreement should not attempt to do so without legal representation.
Prove Your Need for Modification
The most important thing that an attorney can help you do as you pursue modification to a child custody agreement is gather evidence which will support your motion for modification. Requesting a major modification such as the alteration of a child custody agreement requires legitimate proof of reason for doing so. When it comes time for your hearing, you and your attorney will be expected to present viable reasons of proof that support your need for a change to the terms of your current custody agreement. Included among the reasons that are considered to be substantial needs for modification are:
- The child has already been living with the non-custodial parent for a prolonged period of time, and under the custodial parent's consent.
- The current living conditions of the child are not safe – physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially.
There are many more reasons that could be used in argument for modification, and an attorney can help you determine if your situation meets the specific requirements expected of such as request. Modifying a child custody agreement is not easy, nor is it meant to be. Always acting in the best interests of the child / children involved, the courts will not agree to any modifications that do not fully support their wellbeing. That being said, you and your legal representative must be able to unquestionably prove that the modification which has been requested is one that will support your child's best interests.
At the Law Offices of Estrada & Estrada, the professional help you need as you seek a child custody modification will be delivered unwaveringly. Under the representation of the firm's lead attorney, you will be guided by a professional whose experience and qualifications fully support her ability to effectively represent you in court. When you feel that the best interests of your child are at stake, don't wait to speak with the firm. An attorney at the office can review your case and determine whether or not you should seek modification to your current child custody agreement.