Child custody agreements are a common component of divorce between spouses with minor children.
The court recognizes that life changes, and as a result, custody agreements often require modification. In California, you can request and receive approval for a modification of custody under certain conditions.
Request for modification of child custody
California family court allows you to request a child custody modification at any point after the original agreement. However, you must have a sufficient reason for the request. The standard for changing the agreement is that you must prove any adjustments are in the best interests of the child. Additionally, custody agreements last up until the child turns 18 years old, which means you can make changes until that point.
Examples of when a judge will allow modification
A judge will decide whether or not your modification request would benefit the child. Some examples of reasons to modify a custody agreement include:
- One parent, either custodial or non-custodial, does not follow the original custody order.
- The child’s needs change. For example, parents may need to make adjustments as a child gets older.
- A parent is negligent or irresponsible when the child is in their custody.
- One parent could be a danger to the child.
- One parent must relocate for work or a family situation.
- The child prefers to be with one parent over the other.
- The non-custodial parent relocates closer to the other parent or changes their work schedule.
The court does not limit reasons to modify to the above list. Instead, it rules on a case-by-case basis by evaluating the specific circumstances surrounding custody.