San Diego Child Custody Lawyers
Child Custody Modification Process
When a marriage ends and that marriage produced children, one of the most important decisions that the court will make regards child custody. Clearly, this is a legal decision that brings with it many emotional undertones and results, and many people see the loss of primary custody as a permanent defeat. However, this is not necessarily the case, as there can and have been instances where child custody orders have been modified for different reasons. Below you’ll see a brief introduction to this issue, and if you face this type of situation you need to contact an experienced San Diego child custody lawyer as soon as possible.
The California Standard for Child Custody Modification
When a court originally makes a decision regarding child custody in California, the court bases its decision on what it believes are the best interests of the child. There are other factors that can be relevant, but the child’s interests are the overriding factor. Therefore, if a parent makes a motion to modify child custody, that standard once again is relevant.
Specifically, in order for a California child custody order to be modified, the person making the motion to modify it must show the court that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred, and that a modification of the child support order because of this change in circumstances would be in the best interests of the child. In essence, modifying the custody order may need to be critical to the welfare of that child or children.
As can be seen, the standard for modifying a child custody order can be difficult to meet. This is especially so when courts are not supposed to consider financial circumstances when it comes to making this type of a decision. However, there are other considerations that the court can and will make.
For example, if the custodial parent has a long and persistent track record of refusing or otherwise obstructing visitation by the non-custodial parent, there have been cases in the past that have led to child custody modifications as a result. In addition, the child’s preferences will be considered and will be given some weight, but those preferences will not govern the decision. In general, if the child is suffering and at risk of harm, it could lead to the need to modify custody.
If you face this situation and you need to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance possible to modify the existing order, you need to seek the help of San Diego child custody lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers for many years. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.