You may want to modify a child custody order for several reasons. It could be due to changes in circumstances that affect the well-being and best interests of the child or if the current custody arrangement is no longer viable due to a relocation.
Either way, there are two ways of going about it. You can seek your co-parent’s consent on the changes you seek. Should they approve the proposed modifications to the current custody arrangement, the court will review and approve the final agreement if it fits the child’s best interests.
However, if your co-parent does not agree to the changes, you must go through a court process to modify the custody arrangements. Here is what to expect.
The court process of modifying child custody orders
Modifying an existing child custody order begins with filing a modification application or request with the court, otherwise known as a motion. You are also required to specify your reasons for seeking the changes and provide relevant evidence
The court will screen the motion to ensure it is substantial and genuine. If it is, the court will likely refer you to mediation for you and your co-parent to try and resolve the matter amicably unless the circumstances do not allow it.
If mediation attempts are unsuccessful, the court can modify the existing custody order accordingly. This can happen if the judge is persuaded that there has been a significant change in circumstances that directly impact the child’s best interests. Court hearings will be held to determine the appropriateness of the ongoing custody arrangement.
Increase your chances of a desirable outcome
You can enhance your chances of a favorable custody modification motion by seeking informed assistance. Proper legal support can guide you through the process, help gather compelling evidence in support of the change and provide invaluable advice on navigating the complexities of modifying a child custody order in line with New Jersey’s regulations.