When Circumstances Change
As children grow and families change, it may become necessary to modify existing custody orders post-judgment.
A custody order should reflect the unique family dynamics as well as the specific needs of the child. When either of those change, it may be time to modify the custody order.
Custody orders may be modified post-judgment if there has been a significant change in circumstances. Many life events can make custody modifications necessary including relocations, new job or job hours, evolving needs of the child, or changing habits of the parents, such as drug use. These must be considerable changes, enough that render the existing custody order inappropriate for the needs of the child and family.
The Modification Process
If you and the other parent can agree, you can file your agreement with the court to ensure the changes to the custody order are enforceable. If you cannot reach an agreement on your own, you will have to file a motion for modification. The judge may then order you to participate in the Custody and Parenting Time Mediation Program. If you cannot reach an agreement with the help of a mediator, you will need to appear before the judge at a hearing.
When filing a motion for a modification, you should keep a few things in mind. First, the judge can deny your request. You will need to show in your motion that there has been a significant change in circumstances. You will also need to demonstrate that the modification is in the best interests of your child. You need to speak with an attorney if you aren’t sure how to do this. The judge can deny your request if the circumstantial changes are not significant enough or if the modification would clearly not be in your child’s best interests.
Custody modifications can be complicated, so you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney about your case. You may receive some guidance from the court on which forms you need to fill out and how, but only an attorney can give you legal advice and help you navigate the modification process from beginning to end.
Do you have questions about custody modifications? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC know how important child custody is and will help you obtain a custody order that looks out for your child’s best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.