The judge’s decision in most legal matters is usually final unless reversed on appeal. However, there are instances when one or both parents can petition the court to modify an existing child custody order. However, it is important to understand that this decision must be made, first and foremost, in the child’s best interest.
Here are two instances when the court may be open to the idea of modifying an existing custody order.
When there are reports of drug and substance abuse
From alcohol and illegal drugs to prescription medication, many Americans struggle with drugs. A parent who is hooked on drugs presents a range of dangers to the child’s wellbeing. If your spouse is struggling with drugs, you may petition the court to limit their contact with the child. This modification may be temporary while the parent in question seeks treatment for their drug problem.
Arrest and conviction
A parent who has been sentenced to several months or years in jail will practically be unavailable to care for and provide for the child. In this case, the other parent (or grandparents) may petition the court for custody modification.
Still on incarceration, a parent who has been convicted of a serious crime like child abuse or other violent crimes may pose a danger to the child. As such, the other parent may seek a custody modification or a supervised visitation.
Child custody can be a sensitive and contentious subject during divorce and separation. Find out how you can safeguard your child’s best interest while modifying an existing custody and visitation arrangement.