When can you request a change to child custody?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Family Law |

When an Ohio court puts a child custody plan in place, the goal is to outline what will be the best situation for the child in question. But sometimes, a parent may wish to have a custody agreement modified. Many parents disagree with their custody arrangement, but simply disliking it is not a reason to request a change. If you have legitimate concerns about your child’s custody, you can request a modification for several reasons. 

Reasons to request a modification 

Sometimes both parents will agree that changes need to be made to a custody agreement. This may happen when the needs of a child change or one parent relocates to another state. Modifications can also happen if a child requests a change as the court will consider the wishes of a child when they reach a certain age.  If you and your ex prefer to make some changes, it’s best to go back to court to have those changes put into writing.  

A parent who’s made significant life changes may request more time with their child. This may include recovery from drug or alcohol abuse or finding a more stable living situation. Likewise, negative changes in a parent’s life can allow the other party to request a reduction in the time their child spends with that parent until they get their life back in order.  

Problems with the custody arrangement 

If you believe your child is suffering because of the custody arrangement, you can request that a court review the evidence in hopes they will make appropriate changes. When one suspects abuse or neglect, the court will consider a request for modification. Parental alienation can also lead a court to make changes to a custody order.  

If your ex is not following the custody order as it’s written, you may go back to court to have changes made. Not following the order could include being late to arranged drop-offs or pick-ups or not returning the child to the other parent as decreed in the agreement. Most family courts take these deviations from the agreement seriously and will consider them when deciding whether changes are necessary.  

Where to turn for help 

In most cases, the Ohio family court system tries to create a custody order that allows the child to maintain relationships with both parents. Sometimes, the original plan doesn’t work out and the court must make changes. Modifications are possible when there is a valid reason for changing the original agreement. Whether you and your ex are on the same page about the changes, or you’re preparing to face a lengthy court battle, having someone knowledgeable on your side is essential.