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Reasons to seek a child custody modification in California

In life, circumstances change. New jobs. Living arrangements. Anything can change in a moment.

That includes child custody.

A child custody arrangement that once seemed to be ideal for both parents might not be so ideal to one of them anymore. If that's the case, the parents can seek to come to an agreement on an altered plan on their own. Or, one parent might need to turn to the California court system to seek a child custody modification.

A court won't change an order for minor reasons if the custody plan in place appears on the surface to be working, especially if it seems to be in the best interests of the child. The court won't want to disrupt a child's way of life without a good reason.

So, what is a good reason to seek modification?

When a child could be in danger

The court will look at a variety of factors to measure the dangers to a child. Is there domestic violence in the home of one of the parents? Have the children said they don't want to go with the other parent because they are afraid of what they have seen there?

When a parent must move out of the general area

Courts will look at why the parent is relocating, if the distance is so great that the existing schedule no longer will work and how a child's life will be altered by a modification.

Whether one parent isn't sticking to the current schedule

A court will review a request for modification and ask why the schedule hasn't been followed and determine whether the parents can communicate better to make the schedule work.

Before asking the courts to modify the current custody schedule, parents should try to work out an agreement together. For some parents, however, communication is difficult. A family law attorney can assist parents in their case for child custody modification.

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