Attorneys
Divorce and Family Law

Can you request a change in custody?

You breathed a sigh of relief when your divorce was finally over. You survived all of the emotional upheavals, managed to divide all of the marital assets fairly and had a workable parenting plan and custody agreement — or so you thought.

Now, you aren’t so sure. Your children seem very unhappy when they come back from your ex-spouse’s house and their behavior indicates that they’re not thriving. Is that enough to get a judge to revisit the issue of custody?

Maybe. Generally speaking, children tend to go through a period of adjustment following a divorce. That may account for some of the problems. However, you might have reason to request a modification of custody if:

  • Your ex-spouse is abusive. This includes acting violently, making threats or heaping verbal abuse on the children or others.
  • Addiction may be an issue. If your ex-spouse has taken to drinking or started using drugs, that’s a serious problem.
  • Your ex-spouse suddenly decides to relocate and wants to take your child with them.
  • Your ex-spouse doesn’t show up on time for visitation, holds the kids past their return time and refuses to comply with other parts of the parenting plan.
  • Your child is adamant about not staying with your ex-spouse.
  • Your ex-spouse gets involved in a new relationship that’s affecting their better judgment and you’re concerned their new love is a bad influence on the kids.
  • Your ex is constantly denigrating you to the kids and you sense that they are being alienated.

It’s hard to determine when you have a good case to request modification of child custody without some experienced advice. An attorney can help you look closely at the situation and decide what steps to take next.