Sometimes, life circumstances 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 need to modify your child custody order, contact A People’s Choice to learn how we can help.
How to Change a Child Custody Agreement in California
In order to modify child custody in California, a parent must request a court hearing unless the other parent voluntarily agrees to the change. Additionally, the parent seeking the change must complete Form FL 300. In this form, the parent must prepare a plan detailing scheduled visits, including holidays, that best fits the new arrangement.
Furthermore, the parent will need to explain why they find this change necessary. This justification is the most important aspect of requesting a change in custody or visitation. Oftentimes, verbal testimony at the court hearing is limited. As a result, the judge relies heavily on this written paperwork when considering the matter.
Once the parent completes the paperwork, they should take the following steps:
- Make two copies of the form
- File the form with the clerk
- Get a court date
- Serve the papers on the other parent
- File the proof of service
- Attend the court hearing
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to modify child custody in California. Also, learn how we can help you prepare the motion for change of custody paperwork. We will help prepare a comprehensive declaration explaining your reasons for the change to your current arrangement.
Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Order
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
- A parent is failing to properly care for the child by 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 a child custody order must have legal grounds to do so. In order to request the change, the parent must prove 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.
How a Child’s Preference Influences Child Custody Modification
Child custody orders are based on the child’s best interest, so the court will consider the child’s preference when making its final determination. Of course, the court will take into consideration the child’s age, maturity, intelligence, and motivations when determining the weight given to their preferences. Therefore, 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 orders 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, A People’s Choice has extensive experience helping people formulate their story for the court’s consideration. Plus, we know what to look out for and what documentation to file when preparing child custody modification forms. Therefore, our turnaround time in completing the required forms is typically faster than most lawyers. Also, using our services will save you thousands of dollars! Contact us for more information.