Learn About Modifying Child Custody in Orange County California
In California, child custody orders are necessary for unmarried or separated parents, or any parents who cannot agree on how to handle their children. Child custody agreements are made based on the best interest of the child in question.
So, what happens when your child’s needs change as he or she grows up? What happens if one of the child’s parents gets a new job and needs to move to a new city? The California court system understands that a child’s needs change as he or she grows up, and the court system is designed to accommodate these changes.
There are many reasons why a parent might want to change a child custody order, and why a court might allow it. Once you have a custody order in place, it is expected that it will need to be changed every few years. The process of changing a custody order is called a child custody modification.
If you have questions about modifying your child custody order in California, it is best to discuss your case with a qualified child custody attorney in your area.
A custody order includes two pieces: legal custody and physical custody. All custody agreements need to state whether joint or sole legal custody is in the child’s best interest, and whether joint or sole physical custody is appropriate for the child’s best interests. If sole physical custody is chosen, then the custody agreement also needs to include a portion that states whether or not a visitation order is included, and the terms of the visitation.
When Can I Modify my Child Custody Order?
In California, the courts will allow a modification to an existing child custody order if there has been a significant change in circumstances that renders the current child custody order unusable because it is not in the child’s best interest. When a child custody order is made, it’s terms depend on the best interests of the child. As a child grows, his or her best interests may change.
It is usually in a child’s best interest to have a custody order that allows the child to maintain a stable and consistent relationship with both of his or her parents. A child needs to be in a situation where he or she has love, protection, guidance, healthy food, medical care, rest, and a stable environment. A child’s relationships with his or her friends, family, school, and community are part of his or her life. All of these factors need to be considered when a custody order is created or modified.
A significant change in circumstances may happen if a child grows older. It can happen if one parent takes a new job or is sent away as part of a job or the military. It can happen if one parent remarries. If you aren’t sure whether or not your situation constitutes a significant change in circumstances, it is best to ask your attorney.
What Can I Do If My Child’s Other Parent is Trying to Limit My Visitation Rights?
In some cases, one parent may try to limit the other parent’s time with the child. Sometimes, this may be done for selfish reasons, and sometimes, it may be done because the parent truly believes that it is not in the child’s best interests to spend time with his or her other parent.
Depending on which of these situations is true, your actions may need to vary.
If your child’s other parent is acting vindictively, it may not be in your child’s best interest to spend time with that parent. Usually it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with and to maintain a relationship with both parents, and both parents should encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent. You should discuss your concerns with an attorney who can help you build a case around the child’s best interest.
If you have little or no existing relationship with the child, even if it is because of the actions of the other parent, it is in your best interest to ask for supervised visitation until you can have a relationship with your child. Once you and your child have an established relationship, you may ask for unsupervised visitation, and eventually, you may be able to have joint custody of your child.
However, unless it is not in the child’s best interest to spend time with you, you have a right to spend time with your child. It may not be in your child’s best interest to spend time with you if you have a history of violence or child abuse, substance abuse, or if it can be shown that you do not provide a safe environment for your child, your child’s other parent may have a valid reason to prevent you from unsupervised visitation. When it comes to child custody and visitation, if you have any worries about the order, try to be specific.
If you are worried that you may lose the right to either custody or visitation with your child, contact your family lawyer as soon as possible.
What if One Parent is Moving Away?
Sometimes, one parent may need to relocate to a new city, state, or country. When a parent remarries, has new children, accepts a new job, or is transferred to a new location, a child custody order may need to be modified to accommodate the new situation. Depending on the child’s relationship with each parent, the existing custody arrangement, and the child’s age and relationship with his or her community, school, and friends, the child may be required to move with the moving parent, or to stay in his or her home community with the parent remaining behind.
If you are worried about losing custody or visitation due to either your relocation, or the relocation of your child’s other parent, it is important that you discuss your case with a child custody lawyer in your area. Relocation and move away cases can be complicated, and they can bring out the worst in people. Your child deserves the best, and it is your responsibility to provide it for him or her.
Do I Need to Modify my Child Custody Order Through the Court?
As with most family law related legal issues, the amount of time that you will need to spend in court largely depends on how well you can work out a solution with the other party. If you and your child’s other parent agree that a modification needs to be made to your child custody agreement, it is possible for the two of you to work out the details of the modification outside of court. Child custody mediation is a great way to work through your differences without going to trial, and it also allows you to keep your child out of a courtroom.
Even if you choose to use custody mediation or create a child custody agreement on your own, it is a good idea to have a judge sign the agreement into a legally enforceable court order, just in case you need to have it legally enforced at a later date. No matter how your custody agreement is created, you should submit it to the judge, who can approve it, sign it, and keep a copy on file with the court.
How Do I Ask The Court to Modify my Child Custody Order?
You will need to file a form with the court and serve the papers on your child’s other parent. Both of you will need to appear in court, and your child may be required to appear as well. It is likely that before you go to court, you will both be ordered to appear in custody mediation. Mediation allows you and your child’s other parent to work with a trained professional towards a mutually agreeable solution that is in your child’s best interest. A mediator is legally required to remain neutral, but you may consult with a family lawyer outside of the mediation meetings.
Whether you come to an agreement through court ordered mediation or if the court creates your new child custody and visitation order for you, you will need to ask the judge to sign your agreement into a court order.
Child Custody Modification Attorney in Southern California
If you are concerned about an impending child custody modification, or if you would like to modify your custody and visitation order, you should discuss your options with a qualified lawyer. Contact the attorneys at Yanez & Associates today to schedule your free initial consultation with an Orange County lawyer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Learn About Modifying Child Custody in Orange County California
- 2 When Can I Modify my Child Custody Order?
- 3 What Can I Do If My Child’s Other Parent is Trying to Limit My Visitation Rights?
- 4 What if One Parent is Moving Away?
- 5 Do I Need to Modify my Child Custody Order Through the Court?
- 6 How Do I Ask The Court to Modify my Child Custody Order?
- 7 Child Custody Modification Attorney in Southern California