Livingston Child Custody Modification Lawyer
Sometimes, circumstances change after parents have entered into a child custody agreement, making the existing terms unsuitable. Fortunately, parents may be able to adapt their custody agreement to suit the new situation as long as the changes would be in their child’s best interests. If you are facing a change in circumstances that affects your parenting schedule, contact a dedicated attorney at the Williams Law Group. A Livingston child custody modification lawyer could work to achieve a well-suited arrangement for you and your children.
What is a Substantial Change in Circumstances for Child Custody?
In New Jersey, the law generally favors stability for children, as well as arrangements that allow both parents to be involved in their child’s life. In order for a court to consider modifying an existing child custody arrangement, it must hear evidence of a substantial change in circumstances that would necessitate the change. The court must also hear evidence that adapting the custody terms would be in the best interests of the child.
However, there are many scenarios which could qualify as a substantial change, depending on the circumstances. Some examples include:
- Relocation of one or both parents that makes it difficult to comply with the existing child custody arrangement
- Domestic abuse or addiction issues
- A parent’s cohabitation with someone who may have a bad influence on their child
- Sub-optimal standard of living in one of the parental homes
- Educational circumstances, such as a child’s need to change schools
- A parent’s noncompliance with the current custody agreement
An experienced lawyer could advise a Livingston parent on whether their particular circumstances may warrant a modification of child custody.
Best Interests of the Children
Importantly, a substantial change in circumstances alone is not enough to change a parenting arrangement. A Livingston parent and their attorney must also demonstrate that the custody modification would be best for the child. Both of these requirements must be met for a court to grant a modification.
Child Custody Modification by Agreement
The simplest way to modify a child custody plan in New Jersey is by agreement between the two parents. By being on the same page, a divorced couple can avoid an extended legal battle and speed up the process. If both parents believe they can agree on a new arrangement, an attorney who focuses on child custody cases could help file the modification in Livingston.
Child Custody Modification by Adjudication
However, when parents cannot agree on changes to their child custody agreement, it may be necessary to file a motion with the court. In this case, the parent who wishes to revise the custody arrangement will need to work with an experienced lawyer to demonstrate that the modification is supported by a substantial change in their circumstances and the best interests of their child.
Consult a Livingston Child Custody Modification Attorney
Because there are specific legal requirements for changing custody agreements, it may be beneficial to consult legal counsel before pursuing the process. A qualified Livingston child custody modification lawyer could lay out your options for changes by agreement or court adjudication and support you throughout the proceedings. Schedule a consultation today to speak with our hardworking legal team about your circumstances.