Child Custody & Visitation
When Can a California Child Custody Order Be Modified?

When Can a California Child Custody Order Be Modified?

Date: Nov 12, 2021
In: Child Custody & Visitation

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When Can a California Child Custody Order Be Modified?

Child custody orders can permanently impact family life. If child custody arrangements are hurting a child’s well-being, their physical and mental health can suffer, and their relationships with both parents can suffer for years to come. Parents must know about their legal right to seek a modification of custody orders. The family courts have wide authority to enter almost any order that is in a child’s best interest.

What is a Significant Change in Circumstances?

Legally, a parent seeking to obtain modifications to final custody order must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances. Common examples include a parent’s change in employment, a child’s diagnosis, a parent’s illness, and other life events. But as a practical matter, it is often easy to establish a significant change in circumstances. If, for example, one parent is not cooperating with existing custody orders, this could be a change in circumstances that requires the modification of a custody order. Your attorney will be able to prove a significant change in circumstances in many different situations. When a change is in the child’s best interest, family courts are eager to support a modification.

What Orders Can Be Changed?

Any child-related order entered by a family court is subject to modification. This includes child support orders, parenting time schedules, and the right to make legal decisions on behalf of a child. A parent has the right to petition a family court to modify any order – so long as the change is in the child’s best interests. Your custody lawyer will help you find the best way of proving that a change is in your child’s best interest. 

How to Prove a Change is in the Best Interests of the Child

It will not come as a surprise to learn that many parents disagree over what is in their child’s best interest. When two parents come to court, each must present their case for what is in the child’s best interest, and it is up to the judge to decide what will be best for the child. So how do you prove that you are right? 

Because many custody cases turn into battles of opinion between parents, it is important to have objective evidence to present to a judge. Information from experts (such as doctors, therapists and teachers) can help support your position. It is also important to be able to explain any differences in opinion. If, for example, each parent has a letter from a different doctor with a different opinion about what is best for the child, your attorney will need to explain why your expert’s opinion is more reliable than the others. Our child custody lawyers have extensive experience in supporting a parent’s position with credible evidence that will be persuasive to the family court. 

Experienced California Child Custody Attorneys For All Modification Issues

A quick internet search for “California child custody lawyers near me” will show you many results. The best family lawyers will listen to your family’s needs and help you achieve what is best for your children without unnecessary conflict. The experienced family law attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda have years of experience negotiating even the most complicated child custody cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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