Child custody arrangements and child support orders may be modified in certain circumstances. Because many things can changed for divorced parents, after their child support and child custody orders are in place, it is helpful to know when child custody and child support may be modified and under what circumstances.
Significant change in circumstances
Any change is usually based on a significant change in circumstances that is expected to be permanent. To modify child custody, the parent requesting the change must demonstrate that there has been a material change in circumstances that will impact the well-being of the child.
Circumstances that can lead to a child custody modification need to be significant and can include the relocation of a parent, the needs of the child or parent have changed or if there is abuse or neglect of the child involved. Child custody may also be modified if one parent is not following the terms of the custody arrangement. Likewise, child support may be modified based on a significant change such as the loss of job for a parent or change in the needs of the child such as medical care of childcare changes as possible examples.
Parents can agree to a child custody modification or child support change but the modification must be agreed to by both parents and best for the child. There are also certain procedures that must be followed. Because child custody and child support modifications can be complex, it is helpful to have trained guidance through the process.