A custody arrangement rarely works for every stage in a child’s life. Parents’ circumstances change over time, and children’s needs will evolve as they grow, all of which may require changes to a parenting plan. When parents can resolve these issues on their own, altering a custody plan is relatively simple. But if you and your child’s other parent can’t agree, you’ll end up in court, where a judge will decide.
Parents that can’t agree will probably end up in court. If you’re the parent seeking the custody modification, you’ll need to file a motion or petition, which is a written request to a judge. You must submit evidence showing the change in circumstances. It can be difficult to prove the issues surrounding the need for a custody change. You may need to bring in witnesses and experts to testify in your case. Family friends or the child’s babysitter may be able to testify about the child’s living situation and patterns. School report cards, health records, or testimony from a therapist may also be helpful.
For complex custody cases, parents-or the court-may request a custody evaluation. A custody evaluator will interview family members and review the evidence to make a custody recommendation to the judge. The judge may follow the recommendation or may create a different schedule entirely. As you can see there are many potential pitfalls associated with a change in custody. That is why you need to speak to one of our custody experts if you are faced with a change of custody situation.