The person you are now may be very different than the person you were when you divorced and your co-parent got primary or even sole custody of your children. Maybe you were spending 80 hours a week at work as you built your business, and your work took you out of town frequently. Perhaps you had substance abuse or mental health issues you hadn’t yet confronted.
There are all kinds of negative developments that can warrant a custody re-evaluation and modification of parenting rights – such as issues with a parent’s behavior or failure to comply with the agreement. Sometimes, custody orders are modified because of issues with a child. However, positive changes in a parent’s life can be cause for seeking a modification as well.
Showing the positive changes in your life
For example, if your parenting time has been seriously restricted because you had substance abuse and/or criminal issues, you’ll need to show that things have changed. You may need character references and testimony from therapists, parole officers, co-workers and even friends and family members. Sometimes, random alcohol or drug testing is required for parents to regain custody of their children.
If the issue was that you couldn’t spend the necessary time with your child because of work or other obligations, it can be relatively easy to provide evidence of changes in those responsibilities. If the problem was that you didn’t live in a safe environment for your child, your new home or living situation can be evaluated by the court.
If you’re considering asking for a child custody modification – whatever the reason – it’s crucial to be prepared to present a strong case. Having experienced legal guidance can help you work to obtain the outcome that’s ultimately in your child’s best interests.