Custody orders created during a divorce hearing can be modified after they are put in place. For example, the non-custodial parent may request the court to review the order if he or she is now seeking joint custody. Here are a few of the considerations the court will keep in mind when child custody modifications are requested.
Whether both parents agree with the modification
It is important for parents to be in line with changes to custody orders. If the custodial parent disputes the change, he or she will need to provide evidence as to why the original order should be upheld. The non-custodial parent will also need to provide evidence to support their case.
If the decision-making process has changed
Child custody can be physical or legal. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, while legal custody refers to who gets to make decisions on behalf of the child. If the non-custodial parent has been provided authority to make certain decisions or be involved in the decision-making process, a case can be made to the court to change the existing order.
If the child is fully integrated into the non-custodial parent’s family
A child must feel a sense of belonging in his or her home. In this case, the court will review whether the child has experienced a healthy home environment at the home of the non-custodial parent.
Whether the modification benefits the child
All custody decisions made by the court are made to benefit the best interests of the child or children at the center of the dispute. Changing one’s living arrangement can be difficult, especially for kids. However, if it is determined that the harm caused by the change in the environment is less than the benefit offered, the court may agree to the modification.