When parents seek a divorce, child custody is often their most pressing concern. In fact, disputes over legal custody and parenting time can continue until the youngest child finally reaches adulthood.
If you’re unhappy with the parenting time allocation you currently have, can you ask the court for a modification? Maybe.
Has it been at least two years since the prior order was established?
No matter how much you hate the current orders surrounding your custody and parenting time, the court won’t even entertain the notion of a modification for the first two years unless one of the following is true:
- The current situation somehow seriously puts your child’s mental, moral, physical or emotional health at risk.
- The child’s other custodian has already given the child over to another “de facto” custodian.
For example, maybe your child’s other parent has developed a serious drug addiction since your split, and you’re genuinely worried about their ability to handle even basic parenting responsibilities. Maybe your co-parent left for parts unknown, and you find out that your child has been staying with their grandparent.
Do you have a good reason for asking for the modification?
Even if it has been two years (or longer) since the custody and parenting order was established, you may still not be able to obtain a modification without a good reason. The court will always be concerned first with what’s in the best interests of the children — not what the parents may want.
Because child custody issues can be very emotional for the people involved, it’s wisest to get experienced legal guidance regarding your options. That may help you uncover solutions to your custody problem that hadn’t considered.