5 Signs It Might Be Time to Request a Child Custody Modification

Child Custody Modification

If you are divorced and have minor children with your ex-spouse, you likely have a custody plan that states how each parent will separately raise their children. While a custody plan can seem legally binding, it can be changed and updated through a request to the court.

But how? And for what reason?

As a parent, you know how much your children’s needs change. You also understand that your own needs evolve. If you suspect your child custody plan needs to be revised, then that’s a sign that you must request a child custody modification.

However, if you’re still unsure, then it might be helpful to contact a family law attorney from the Law Office of Sam Byrd. Our team of family law attorneys aims to do what’s best for you and your children. We know that you want that as well. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Continue reading this guide to learn about five signs or reasons that it might be time to modify your child custody modification.

5 Reasons to Request a Child Custody Modification

Here are five reasons you should request a child custody modification.

Physical Relocation

When one parent plans to relocate, a child custody modification may not be required. However, if one parent plans a long-distance move, such as out-of-state, it may be necessary to update the plan. The court is more likely to approve this modification if the move significantly burdens one parent or negatively affects the child’s life.

The Child’s Needs Have Changed

As children grow older, their needs change. For example, the needs of a baby are much different than the needs of a teenager. You can submit a child custody modification if one parent’s living environment is better for the child’s current needs.

In addition to the child’s needs, a parent’s needs or ability to care for the child may change. If you believe the other parent is no longer suitable for the child, you may have grounds for a modification to child custody orders.

Failure to Cooperate

Even if the other parent can take care of your child, they may refuse to follow your current custody plan. A typical example is the other parent failing to return the child on time each week. 

You can submit a request to modify your custody agreement when this occurs consistently. However, you will need evidence to prove the other parent fails to abide by the court order.

The Child is in Danger

One of the top priorities of a custody plan is to ensure the child’s needs and interests are met. So, if the child’s physical health is at risk, that is reason enough to demand a custody modification. The judge will likely agree to change custody if the child is in danger. 

Some examples of endangerment include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Death of a Parent

Finally, if the custodial parent dies, a modification is required so that the non-custodial parent can take care of the child. If the non-custodial parent is unfit to care for the child, custody may be given to a third party, such as grandparents.

How Can a Child Custody Lawyer Help?

Navigating child custody can be overwhelming. It becomes even more complicated when a modification is required. When going through this process, it’s best practice to work with a child custody lawyer.

A child custody lawyer will give you advice, answer your questions, and compile evidence for you. Your attorney’s goal is to ensure you receive a favorable outcome that suits your children’s needs.

The Law Office of Sam Byrd is here to help. We protect our client’s rights while ensuring their relationship with their child remains intact throughout and after the divorce. If you need assistance with modifying child custody, child support, or other family law matters, contact a child custody lawyer from the Law Office of Sam Byrd.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

FAQ: Child Custody Modification

What evidence is required to request a child custody modification?

Sometimes, you will need evidence to request a child custody modification. For example, you may require proof that the other parent has failed to cooperate with your current child custody arrangement. Your lawyer can tell you what evidence is needed for a modification, and they will help you acquire the evidence.

Do I need court approval for minor changes to a child custody order?

If you want to make minor changes to your custody plan and the other parent agrees to those changes, you do not need court approval. For instance, if you need to change your pickup times by an hour, you don’t necessarily require a modification.

What happens if both parents do not agree to the modification request?

Litigation is required if both parents do not agree to the modification request. A judge will approve or deny the request during the litigation process. Additionally, they may determine a way to change the current custody agreement that is agreeable to both parents.

Author Bio

Sam Byrd is the owner and managing attorney at The Law Office of Sam Byrd. With hands-on experience in divorce, family law, criminal law, and DUI/DWI cases, Sam has been serving clients in Tennessee since 2012. He graduated with a J.D. from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2012 and holds a B.S. in Legal Studies from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2009.

He began his legal career as a paralegal, working under his father’s guidance. Prior to that, Sam served in the United States Marine Corps as a member of the 2/7 Weapons Company stationed at 29 Palms, California.

Sam has received several accolades for his work, including being recognized as a Rising Star in Divorce & Family Law by Tennessee SuperLawyers in 2020, 2019, and 2018. He is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 under 40, an exclusive professional organization for top trial lawyers under the age of 40. Sam’s commitment to continuous learning and improvement is demonstrated by his certifications in Trial Skills from the National College of DUI Defense in 2019 and 2018.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google