If the child custody agreement you made with your co-parent is no longer adequate for your circumstances, you may have questions about how to change it. Consider contacting a Connecticut child custody modification lawyer before moving forward. A child custody attorney can answer your questions and help you find a more suitable arrangement.
Custody arrangements are either agreed upon by the child’s parents or imposed by a family court if the parents or guardians cannot agree. The terms of custody agreements are based on factors that are in the best interests of the child, primarily their safety and wellbeing. Relationships with siblings are often taken into account, along with consistency in their community, family life, and education. As children grow, their situation may change. A parent may get a job in another state, the home life of the child may shift, or the child may want a say in their custody agreement as they get older.
Under state law, unless the custody order is modified by a court, parents must follow the agreement in place. However, if a parent is seeking to change the custody agreement, they must demonstrate that the current agreement is no longer in the child’s best interests. A Connecticut lawyer can determine if a parent has the legal grounds to petition for modification to their existing child custody agreement.
When asking a family court to modify a child custody agreement, the parent or guardian must file paperwork with the family court. The paperwork must include a motion for modification, appearance, and affidavit concerning children.
A hearing to consider the modification will then be set by the court. Once the court date is set, the other parent must then be served by a State Marshal with a copy of the forms. The party seeking the modification must then bring the original paperwork and proof of the State Marshal’s return to court.
A court generally allows modifications to child custody agreements only if the parent who wants the change can show that it is necessary and in the child’s best interests. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-56(c), courts must consider various factors. In addition to the proposed modification, courts may also consider whether the situation would have been foreseeable when the child custody agreement was first made. A Connecticut attorney can help a parent prepare for a child custody modification hearing.
Considering changes to your child’s custody agreement may be stressful, especially if the co-parent refuses or does not agree with the proposed changes. To reach your goals in modifying an agreement, it is important to offer solid evidence and arguments supporting the change.
Fortunately, an experienced Connecticut child custody modification lawyer can guide you through this court process and help you protect your child’s changing needs. If you need help petitioning for or refuting potential changes to your custody order, call today to schedule a consultation.