REASONS A JUDGE WILL CHANGE CUSTODY
There are many reasons a judge will change custody. In this article, we will discuss the situations which take place more frequently in the family law cases for such change.
Generally, child custody that works conveniently for both parties will not be changed by the judge. The child’s best interest is always the main criteria for the judge to consider when one of the parents would ask the court to reconsider the previous order for whatever reason.
Straight to the major reasons why a judge will change custody.
- REASONS A JUDGE WILL CHANGE CUSTODY related to imminent danger to the child
One of the reasons a judge will change a child’s custody is if the child is in immediate danger to the child in the current household. In assessing the danger of the child, the judge will consider the following two factors:
First, domestic violence on the part of the custodial parent or domestic violence on the part of someone in the household.
Second, child neglect on the part of the custodial parent
If the custodial parent becomes abusive to the child or other people in the household in the presence of the child, it would be number one among the reasons a judge will change custody. An example would be if the mother lives with her child and a boyfriend. If the boyfriend abusive to the child and the mother is doing nothing about it, the child custody modification should be considered. Another case scenario is a mother living with a boyfriend who is beating and choking her anytime he gets drunk in the presence of the child. The child sees his father during his custodial time and complaining that he is scared anytime that happened. The father can ask the court to modify child custody.
If one of the parents starts having problems with drugs or alcohol abuse and it impacts children in any way.
If the custodial parent opens the child to any form of abuse or neglect the child needs depriving the child’s right to live a happy and blissful life, the judge will always change the child custody. The child’s well-being is always the priority.
- A parent moves from a different state.
There are multiple case scenarios for the reasons a judge will change custody when one of the parents moves out of the state. We have already discussed the situation when non-custodial parent moving out of the state
Moving custodial parent out of the state would create difficulties for not custodial parent to see the child on a regular basis. The schedule and timeshare needs are modified. A visit can be changed from having children during the weeknight to every weekend if parents can afford to pay for flights or long-distance driving. Another alternative is a 6-9 day visit every 3 months for younger children not in school. Usually, the judge would be favorable to modify if there is a very serious reason for moving out of the state. If non-custodial parent is moving out of the state without significant reason, the judge would not be favorable to keep the same time share if it negatively impacts the child’s life.
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- A parent’s living situation have changed
Reasons a judge will change custody could be a significant change I a parent’s living situation. For example, one parent used to live in his relative’s house with multiple bedrooms and separate bath, but such option is no longer available and he needs to rent a room with shared bathroom, so he/she is not able to make children comfortable staying overnight.
The positive changes could be reasons a judge will change custody. For example, father used to stay in re-hub center for recovery from drag/alcohol abuse and he is sobor for half year, renting a big house with separate bedroom for children would be a ground increase his time share with his children.
- If a parent is not following a court order.
If one of the parents completely or partially ignoring the court order for child visitation , When his time is to pick up children, he does not do it or does not contact another parent regarding visitation or taking children and returning much earlier then the ordered times. If those repeated patterns continue for months or years, those are reasons a judge will change custody.
Another set of reasons a judge will change custody is one of the parents is trying to prevent children from visitation with other parent. It could be done directly – making unreasonable excuses to prevent visitation. It could be done indirectly through influencing children to refuse seen another parent, The parent who is trying to separate a child from the other wound not be favored by the judge.
- Continuity and stability.
Judges are always concerned about the well-being of the children at all costs; therefore, a parent who starts acting mentally unstable having irrational behavior with the child will have a low chance to win a custodial case. If the other parent who requests child custody has a better capability to take good care of the child and provide more emotional stability it would be the reason a judge will change custody. However, if the child is exposed to harm or any case of trauma in both parents’ home, the judge will consider a third-party custodial parent in this case.
- Death one of the parents
Obviously, in cases whereby a custodial parent dies or becomes incapacitated those are reasons a judge will change child custody. The judge will determine whether the surviving parent will be able to assume full responsibility for the child or the third party must be involved in the custody of the child.