Custody agreements often need to change because of evolving family circumstances. Sometimes parents may be able to reach an agreed modification. Other times, the court will have to weigh whether to approve the proposed modification of a custody order.
If you believe that your custody arrangement no longer fits your family, it might be time to reach out to a Rockville child custody modification lawyer. A compassionate child custody attorney can help you understand the steps you will need to take to make changes to a prior agreement.
Emergency Custody Modifications
Parents can seek emergency custody hearings in cases where the child is in danger. Cases where such circumstances would apply include those in which the child was or is:
- Physically abused
- Sexually abused
- Threatened with physical or sexual abuse
- Living with a parent with addiction or substance abuse issues that place the child in danger
The court will hear these matters on an emergency basis to protect children at risk in their current living circumstances. Any parent who thinks that their child is in danger should contact a Rockville custody lawyer to discuss their options for obtaining custody.
Changes in Circumstances and the Child’s Best Interests
Courts will allow parents to make modifications to their custody agreements based on significant changes in circumstances. If a parent relocates to a new neighborhood or out of state, that change might make a previous custody arrangement impractical or even impossible. Other significant changes could include substantial increases in work-related obligations or remarriage.
Also, as children get older, their needs might change, and they might have strong opinions about where they want to live. By the time a child enters their later teens, the court may take their custody preferences into account. However, it is important to note that without a substantial change, courts prefer to keep schedules intact to provide a family with stability.
If a parent does wish to modify the schedule because of a change in circumstances, the court might agree that a change took place but disagree about what modifications are appropriate. Courts will make their decisions based on what, if any, modifications best meet the needs of the children. A Rockville family lawyer can help parents understand their options for pursuing a custody modification.
Child Support and Custody Modifications
When the court modifies the custody arrangements, it may also need to modify child support payments. Child support amounts vary depending on the income of the parties but also based on the custody arrangement. Most of the time, a non-custodial parent will pay support to a custodial parent. If a custody modification switches which parent has the children most of the time, the support obligations could shift from one parent to the other.
Less drastic modifications to custody orders could lead to smaller modifications of child support. Understanding the full implications of a custody modification is vital. A local family law attorney can help parents understand how to modify support and custody and what those changes will mean for the family.
Let a Rockville Child Custody Modifications Attorney Help
If a parent is looking to modify their custody agreement, they will have to have compelling reasons for their decision to seek a new arrangement. Courts prefer to leave agreements intact because doing so can help the children feel a sense of stability. Big changes happen whether we plan for them or not, and when they do, they can inevitably make a custody agreement no longer the best situation for a family.
If you believe that a change in. your custody arrangement is material to the lives of your children, you should consider speaking to a Rockville child custody modification lawyer. Your attorney can help you understand how the process will work and what steps you will need to take to make a persuasive case for your proposed changes.