Teaneck Child Custody Modification Lawyer
Once a family court issues an order regarding child custody and visitation rights between parents, the terms of that order remain legally enforceable unless they are formally changed by the court. While courts are generally hesitant to alter or reverse existing orders of this nature, there are circumstances where it is possible to successfully seek a modification to a custody order based on new or changing factors impacting the child in question.
If you want to change a child custody order, do so with an experienced child custody attorney’s support. A Teaneck child custody modification lawyer can work with you to achieve your custody goals and assist you through the legal process.
When Are Child Custody Modifications Possible?
There are two methods available to co-parents in New Jersey for formally petitioning the court for a child custody order modification. The simpler of the two is a consent order, which requires both parents to agree on the proposed changes and petition the court together to implement those changes in a new order. If the court agrees that the proposed changes serve the best interests of the child affected by the order, the court may adjust the existing order according to the parents’ request so long as the agreement does not go against the child’s best interests.
Alternatively, if only one parent wants to modify a custody order while the other does not, the parent seeking the change would need to file a motion with the court for modification. For the court to grant a motion like this, the petitioning party would need to demonstrate that a “substantial change in circumstances affecting the child’s welfare” makes the existing order invalid and that a modification to the requested terms is the best way to serve their child’s best interests.
In this context, a “substantial” change is generally something that impacts most or all elements of an existing custody order, like a parent’s relocation to a new state, a job change or a significant shift in work schedule, a failure by one parent to comply with the existing order’s terms, or a parent’s lack of fitness to safely parent their child. A Teaneck child custody modification attorney can explain what may or may not justify a motion for modification during a confidential consultation.
Relevant Factors in Child Custody Modification Decisions
Even if one or both parents follow every necessary legal procedure for requesting a modification to a child custody order, the final decision lies entirely with the court hearing their case. The primary factor that courts take under consideration when determining whether a custody modification is appropriate is the “best interests” of the child or children whom the order affects.
Some of the factors the court may specifically look at to decide what would best serve a child’s best interests include:
- The stability of the child’s home environment before and after the proposed change
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- How effectively both parents can work together to ensure their child’s wellbeing
- The child’s educational prospects and social environment
As a child custody modification attorney in Teaneck can explain, the child’s own preferences may be considered as well if they are old enough to express them.
Get in Touch with a Teaneck Child Custody Modification Attorney Today
Even if you are on the same page with your child’s other parent about changing a custody order, you still may have a tough time achieving the result you want without support from a knowledgeable lawyer. Individuals seeking custody modifications with opposition from their co-parent may face even more roadblocks, which is why it is essential to work with a skilled attorney during this time.
A capable Teaneck child custody modification lawyer’s assistance can make all the difference in your chances of obtaining a beneficial court decision. Call today to learn more about your options.