Custody matters

Custody Matters Don’t End with a Final Order

Custody matters are generally resolved either through an agreement by the parties or by a judge.  In either case, a custody order controls the custody arrangement.  No matter the initial resolution of your custody matter, an order relating to the custody of minor children is never final.  In other words, it is always subject to review and modification, consistent with the best interests of the child.

Generally speaking, a substantial and material change in circumstances may warrant the modification of a custody order.  Although it is not necessary to prove a substantial and material change in circumstances to warrant the modification of a custody order (as the Court’s only consideration is the best interests of the child), these interests often involve a change in circumstances.

Substantial & Material Changes

Examples of substantial and material change in circumstances could include:

  • The introduction of a person into the child’s life that has a history of abuse.
  • The desire of a parent to relocate.

There are an an infinite number of other possible situations – too many to list here. In considering a request for modification, the Court will consider all of the relevant custody factors used for the initial custody determination.

It is important to know that the Court cannot modify a custody order solely to punish a parent for being in contempt of an existing custody order.  Custody may be changed in a contempt proceeding. However, only when it has been established that the change in custody promotes the best interests of the child.

If you have questions about custody matters or child custody modification, call the attorneys at Mobilio Wood today.


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