Certain circumstances arise post-divorce that require parents to change their California child custody and visitation agreement. As a parent, if you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss, and you need your child custody order to be modified, contact us for more information. Read on to learn more about how to modify child custody in California.
How to Change a Custody Agreement
In order to modify child custody in California, a parent must request a court hearing, unless the other parent voluntarily agrees to the change of the current arrangement. The parent seeking the change will need to complete Form FL 300. The parent will need to prepare a plan detailing scheduled visits including holidays and other details that best fits the new parenting plan. The parent will need to explain why he/she thinks it is necessary to change the existing custody order. This is the most important aspect of the change in custody or visitation request. Often verbal testimony at the court hearing is limited. As a result, the judge relies heavily on the written paperwork when considering the matter. The parent will also need to attach his/her proposed parenting plan if he/she seeks for it to become a part of the court order.
Once the parent completes the paperwork, he/she will need to make 2 copies of the form, file the forms with the clerk, get a court date, serve the papers on the other parent, file the proof of service, and attend the court hearing. Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to modify child custody in California. Learn how we can help you prepare the motion for change of custody paperwork including a comprehensive declaration explaining your reasons for the change to your current arrangement.
Reasons to Modify Child Custody in California
Child custody orders can be modified at any time. Common reasons to change a child custody order include the following:
- The non-custodial parent needs to relocate due to employment or personal affairs
- The non-custodial parent has placed the child in a dangerous environment
- A parent’s religious practices are hurting the child
- The custodial parent is denying the non-custodial parent rightful contact
- The parent is failing to properly care for the child such as making sure they arrive to school on time and attend medical and dental appointments as scheduled
Legal Grounds for Child Custody Modification
A parent seeking to change his/her child custody order must have legal grounds to do so. Asking for a change in a child custody and visitation order require the following:
The parent seeking the child custody modification must show that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the final custody order was made.
A “change in circumstances” means that there has been a significant change that requires a modification to the child custody and visitation agreement for the best interest of the child.
Hence, existing child custody orders should only be modified if it is in the best interest of the child.
When A Child’s Preference Influences Child Custody Modification
Child custody orders are based on what is in the best interest of the child. The court will consider the child’s preference as one part in making its final determination. The court will take into consideration the child’s age, maturity, intelligence, and motivations when determining the weight given to the preferences by the court. The court typically will not allow a youth under 12-years of age to disclose their preference.
Benefits of Using A Non-Attorney to Modify Custody in California
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to hire an attorney to modify child custody order in California. At A People’s Choice, we have helped thousands of custodial and non-custodial parents complete all the necessary legal documents to modify child custody in California and file their motion for a custody change. As legal document preparers, we have extensive experience helping people formulate their “story” for the court to consider. In addition, we know what to look out for and the documentation to file when preparing child custody modification forms. Our turnaround time in completing the required forms is typically faster than most lawyers as well and you will save thousands of dollars in the process! Contact us for more information.