One of the hardest parts of settling a divorce is determining child custody. Apart from the various decisions that need to be agreed upon, parents also need to figure out a system that works for both parties while keeping their child’s best interest at heart. Even if everything works out well and is eventually settled, there are times when one or both sides will want to renegotiate custody of their child. When the original settlement breaks down, it’s best to have a San Diego family attorney by your side to guide you through your custody battle.
Can I Make Changes to a Custody Agreement?
After everything that you and your spouse go through into achieving a fair co-parenting agreement, both sides will be highly hesitant to make any changes. Such agreements will be settled through the help of mediators and lawyers. Additionally, they will take hours of negotiation, so a judge will likely be unwilling to make any changes once they have signed off on a statement. The only chance you’ll have to renegotiate custody in San Diego is if you have a compelling reason as to why it’s necessary to have a new arrangement.
California has extremely strict laws that govern how a child custody issue should be mediated, and these are applied even after your divorce is finalized. If both parents agree to make changes, the process can become much simpler, where you only need to apply for a new court order. If both parties can’t agree on a new arrangement, a parent will need to file a petition to modify the custody agreement. As such, it is imperative for you to have a San Diego divorce or family lawyer, who will explain the complications that a change in custody agreement will make.
Under What Circumstances Can I Change a Custody Order?
There are several valid reasons why a change will need to be implemented in a custody agreement. As a matter of fact, parents should revisit their agreement every few years since a child’s life changes as they grow older. Our kids will eventually become involved in various activities, go to new schools, and need different kinds of care and resources.
Furthermore, the circumstances of parents can change as well, which can range from new partners, new homes, or new jobs. Losing a job may also lead to unexpected financial strains which may force a parent to adopt a more affordable way of living. Divorced parents don’t lead static lives, and the court knows this — procedures have been put in place so that changes can be made if the need arises.
If the parents can’t agree on the renegotiations, one will need to show proof of a drastic change in circumstances since the agreement on the existing custody order. You will also need to prove that it’s in the child’s best interests to create a new visitation and custody agreement. A few reasons that will be considered for the renegotiation of a custody agreement include:
- When a parent is constantly moving
- When a parent fails to show up for scheduled visits
- When a parent shows signs of emotionally unstable tendencies
- When the child shows signs of abuse
- When a parent abuses alcohol or drugs
- When a parent experiences a big change in financial circumstances
How Do I Defend a Modification Request?
First, the court needs to see proof or evidence that the request for modification is warranted. Unfortunately, if your circumstances don’t fit the definition of an emergency, then it’s best to work with a Family Divorce Lawyer or a mediator to develop an agreement that can be mutually agreed upon with your co-parent. This will work in a similar way to the original divorce, where you’ll need to come up with terms that are fair for both parents.
Child visitation and custody has always been a difficult topic to approach, and when a child’s parents can no longer stay together, a child is often left confused. As such, it’s best to provide them with a routine schedule to ease them along with the transition. If you’re unhappy with your existing parenting plan, know that you can always turn to a family lawyer in the San Diego area.
Call Smith Family Law Today
Our experienced legal team at Smith Family Law will work with you through the renegotiation process and provide you with the solution for the best interest of your child. You can be sure that we will treat the modification for your custody agreement with the same level of care that we provided during the original divorce case. We aim to provide your child with a safe and secure arrangement, so they can grow in the best environment possible. Call our San Diego divorce attorneys today at 619-480-2203 to learn how we can work together to renegotiate your custody agreement.
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