You went through the divorce process. Your children are currently living with your ex full-time and only see you a few days a month. This was thought best for them as it keeps them living in one house instead of bouncing back and forth. You want to see them more often but your ex is not willing to budge on the matter. Does the state of California ever allow the modification of a child custody order?
The truth of the matter is that it may be. Changing a child custody order is not a request courts are going to take lightly, though. Such a change will have to serve the best interests of the children in order for it to receive approval.
How to seek a custody modification
If you want the custody change and your ex does not, filing an official request in court is necessary. It appears on the surface to be a pretty simple thing to do. You must do the following:
- Obtain the appropriate forms
- Have your application reviewed
- File the forms in court
- Pay the court fee
- Set up at hearing date
- Have the papers served
- File proof of service
- Attend the hearing
Failure to complete this process in its entirety will result in the court denying your request.
What will the judge want to know?
When requesting a custody modification, the judge will want to know why. The court's only job is to act in the best interests of the children. You need to provide evidence that your request will put the children in a better situation than what they are in currently. Legal counsel can give further information on this topic.
Do I have to go it alone?
No. You have every right to seek help with the filing process and the court hearing. Going before a judge can be extremely intimidating. When the matter involves your children, having someone who has experience in court can prove extremely helpful to your case.
Determining what is best for the children is not easy. Each parent may have different ideas on the subject. When parents do not agree, a judge will get the final say. However, if family circumstances change down the line or if the current child custody order does not seem to be working out, either parent can seek to have it adjusted.