What do you need to do to change a California custody order?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2022 | child custody | 0 comments

Maybe you and your ex negotiated your parenting plan when the two of you split up. Perhaps you litigated the divorce and let a judge decide how to split up your parental rights. In either case, the custody order on record in California determines how much time you get to spend with your children and also what obligations you have to them. 

Eventually, you may want to modify the custody order. You may want more parenting time or just to change how you split the time with your ex. What must you do to modify a custody order? 

Communicate with your ex

Discussing potential changes can be an important first step when helping to modify your custody order. If the two of you agree about what changes would work for your family, you can file an uncontested modification request. 

An uncontested modification will be faster and have no surprises for either of you. If your ex doesn’t agree, you can still file a contested request and prepare for a hearing. 

Show that the changes would be good for the kids

The courts have to focus on the same consideration with any contested custody issue, be it an initial request or a modification. Specifically, what would be best for the children. 

Spending more time with both parents is often beneficial for the children. The nature of the changes you request will influence how you present the request to the courts. However, focusing on how the changes will benefit the children will almost always be more successful than focusing on what you personally prefer. 

Evidence of significant changes you recently had to make can help build your case. For example, text messages showing how you had to alter who looked after the child last weekend. Preparing for a modification request will increase your chances of successfully updating your custody order.