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What Do Judges Look For In A California Custody Modification?

One of the most challenging aspects of navigating custody arrangements is that they are not written in stone. As children grow, their needs change. As parents' lives evolve, their ability to meet those needs can also change. When this happens, modifying your existing child custody agreement may be necessary. But what do judges look for when considering whether or not to grant a modification?

Let's take a closer look at what courts consider a change in circumstances and how the courts will assess if a proposed modification should be granted.

Change in Circumstances

For the court to approve any changes to an existing custody arrangement, it must first determine that there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances since the original order was issued. This could include changes in work schedule or job location, severe changes in health, or other life changes that impact the parent's ability or desire to continue with the current parenting plan.

Child's Best Interest

The court will then assess if the current parenting plan no longer addresses your child's best interests and if the proposed modification now reaches your child's best interests better than before. The court will always focus on what is in the best interests of your children when making decisions about custody modifications.

To determine this, they will consider factors such as each parent's physical and mental health, stability of the home environment, emotional bond between parent and child, and more, depending on individual circumstances. In addition, they may also consider factors such as whether one parent has had primary physical caretaking responsibilities up until now or whether one parent has been more involved with extracurricular activities or school-related events.

Parents should be prepared to present evidence demonstrating why their proposed modifications benefit their children during hearings or court mediation. Any evidence shown should demonstrate how making changes would improve the lives of both parents and children by increasing consistency between both households and providing greater stability for all involved parties.

Ultimately, judges want to ensure that any modifications are genuinely helping children rather than creating further disruption from already established routines or relationships between parents and children.

Giving You The Upper-Hand During This Difficult Time

Modifying an existing child custody arrangement is never easy, but it can become necessary when life circumstances change dramatically enough that sticking with an old plan no longer serves everyone's best interests—especially those of your children who have grown since your initial agreement was reached. Suppose you need to modify an existing agreement due to changing circumstances. In that case, it is essential to know what courts look for when considering allowing modifications so you can prepare accordingly when presenting your case before them during hearings or mediation.

With proper preparation and support from an experienced Law Office of Michael R. Young attorney, you can prepare your modification request for a successful outcome. Call us today at (909) 315-4588 to learn more about how we can support you during this transitional time.