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When is it time for child custody modification?

Once the court makes a decision regarding child custody, the arrangement may not always work out for everyone involved. Situations change as children grow older and time passes. An arrangement that may have seemed ideal at the time, may not continue to be in the best interest of the child.

Either parent may file for child custody modification if such a situation should occur. It is helpful to understand how the modification process works and in what types of circumstances you can file for a change in your custody arrangement.

Why should you seek modification?

According to the New York State Unified Court System, parents can seek custody modification if a significant life change has occurred. These may include the following:

  • A parent becomes incarcerated
  • A parent passes away
  • A parent moves a significant distance
  • A parent is deployed to serve for the military
  • The environment has become mentally or physically dangerous for the child
  • The child is starting school

One parent may lose their job and can no longer meet the financial obligation that comes with the current custody arrangement. The court will review each case before making a decision based on the child’s best interests.

What should you do?

When both parents agree to change the current custody order, they may file a modification petition with the New York court. It is best to file in the same jurisdiction as the original order was made. The judge will review the proposed modification and sign off. If only one parent wishes to initiate the modification, however, the court will serve the other parent papers regarding the change.

It is critical to know how the modification process works to ensure the courts uphold your and your child’s rights.