A child custody order is not cast in stone. It means that the court can modify it post-judgment to accommodate new developments, all in the children’s best interest. Pertinent issues that were not present when making the child custody order may influence such changes or modifications.
The parent requesting a revision of the custody orders has to file a motion to justify the modification and prove how such changes are substantial to the child’s welfare. Afterward, the judge will determine what to modify. Below are factors that may warrant a post-judgment modification of a child custody order.
Change in a parent’s situation
In deciding on a child custody case, judges consider each parent’s situation, such as their mental and physical well-being. If a parent can no longer discharge their parental responsibilities, it may mean a modification of earlier orders. For example, if the custodial parent starts abusing drugs, it is in the child’s best interest that they are withdrawn from such an environment.
Change of residence
If a parent is changing their residence, the court may modify custodial orders if such a move will significantly impact the child’s mental and emotional welfare. For example, the move may be due to a job loss, and it may mean moving to a different neighborhood, which may not be the best in bringing up the child. In that case, the custody orders may be modified in light of the circumstances.
Express wishes of the child
In some cases, the child may expressly wish for a change in the custody arrangements. The child may want to live with the other parent for their own reasons, and judges will always consider their wishes. As long as the child is mentally and emotionally capable of making such a call, it may lead to a modification of the existing child custody orders.
As much as custodial orders can be modified post-judgment, it is necessary to be aware of your rights as a parent and safeguard them. Just because you lost your job does not mean you will lose custody of your children. The important bit is showing that you can continue to support and be there for them.