Child Custody Modifications in California
Every parent will recognize that spending time with children is a precious gift. For this reason, child custody disputes cannot only be problematic, but they can also be costly and emotional. Many parents will fight for the child custody arrangement that they will personally prefer, even when court procedures are stressful and expensive for everyone involved. In order to navigate this emotional challenge, it is essential to obtain legal support with the right skills set and experience specifically related to custody modifications.
If you are a parent who needs to protect a child custody arrangement or needs to modify an arrangement that has already been decided by a court, it is critical to seek the legal advice of a knowledgeable attorney. While you can take the legal process on your own, obtaining the legal support of a knowledgeable attorney can ensure that your interests are protected in the process.
Modifying a Child Custody Order in California Family Law Courts
When a child custody order has been decided, parents cannot change the arrangements on their own free will unless it is by agreement. When a parent unilaterally attempts to change the custodial arrangement by making the decision without the consent of the other parent, the defying parent can face serious legal repercussions. When there are circumstances that have significantly changed, it is possible to file a request for order to modify the existing custody order to better serve the children.
In the State of California, child custody orders can be amended at any time if there is sufficient grounds. There are many grounds that may rise to the level of a significant change of circumstances. The following are common reasons behind the need to alter a custody order:
- Non-custodial parents need to relocate (move-away) as a result of an employment change or other personal affairs.
- The child’s wellbeing is at risk after being placed in a dangerous environment by the non-custodial parent.
- One of the parent’s religious practices has hurt the minor or placed him or her in a dangerous environment.
- The parent with primary custody has denied the non-custodial parent’s right to contact with the minor.
- One of the parents is failing to properly care for the minor.
The Legal Grounds for a Child Custody Modification
Parents seeking to change a custody order will need to have the legal grounds to do so. When asking to change the custody order and/or visitation order, the court will need to see that there has been a significant change in the circumstances of the existing arrangement. If the court finds a significant change of circumstances, then the court will make an order of modification based on the best interests of the child.
Changing a Custody Agreement in the State of California
When modifying a child custody order in the State of California, the parent will need to request a court hearing. This can be avoided if the other parent agrees to change the current agreement voluntarily. The parent will need to demonstrate a reason for the change in custody and it is sometimes recommended that the parent is well prepared with the necessary paperwork. Moreover, the parent will need to attach a proposed parenting plan as a part of the court process. In most courts, including Riverside County and San Bernardino County, the court may refer the parents to a Child Custody Recommended Counseling (CCRC) prior to the court hearing. The CCRC is not to be confused with mediation. At the CCRC the counselor will listen to both parents and attempt to have the parents come to an agreement. If an agreement is not reached, then the counselor will make a recommendation to the court as to what custodial arrangement and parenting plan would be best for the child. The parties can either adopt the recommendation or challenge it at the hearing.
Hire the Legal Representation of a Trusted Family Law Attorney
Child custody cases in California can be complex matters that often require the legal support of skilled family law attorneys. If you are facing a child custody matter, seek the legal representation you and your family deserve.
The family law attorneys at the Knez Law Group, LLP have helped many clients through exhaustive custody battles. When it comes to child custody in California, proficient legal representation matters; seek the legal support of a skilled team today. Consider contacting the Knez Law Group, LLP today for a free case evaluation.