How to Modify Child Custody Agreements in New Jersey
Times change, and so can your child custody agreements. The process of changing these agreements in New Jersey courts is known as “modification,” and it can allow you to play a greater role in your child’s life. Alternatively, you may decide that you want your spouse to share more of the child-raising responsibilities. While modification of child custody agreements is always possible in the state of New Jersey, it is not always a straightforward process. There are many factors that you need to take into account as you approach this legal process.
A qualified family law attorney can guide you through this process and help you reach a favorable legal outcome. With an experienced expert by your side, you can increase your chances of successfully modifying your child custody agreement.
What Needs to Happen Before I can Modify the Child Custody Plan?
Once a judge has approved a child custody plan, very specific changes need to occur before that plan is revisited and modified. A judge’s initial ruling takes into account all of the factors that existed when the plan was made. In order to change this plan, you must prove that these factors have changed significantly. This is known as a “change in circumstance.”
So what constitutes a “substantial change in circumstance?” There are a number of possible scenarios that the judge may consider when modifying a child custody plan:
- One or both parents have relocated, and they now live so far away from each other that the previous custody plan is unfeasible
- The child’s grades have begun to slip because they are constantly moving from one residence to another
- The custodial parent is now living with another adult, and there is evidence to suggest that this adult is having a negative effect on the child’s life
- One or both parents are not complying with the rules of the predetermined custody plan
- Evidence of abuse by a parent
- The child has expressed a desire to live with one parent, and this desire contradicts the original custody plan
As you can see, all of these potential scenarios have one thing in common — they center around the well-being of the children. This is because judges in New Jersey always make child custody decisions based on the child’s best interests. It is important to remember this fact if you want to modify your child custody plan, as the judge simply will not care about any potential concerns that affect you and not your child.
So How can I Modify My Child Custody Plan?
The first step is to enlist the help of a qualified family law attorney who can help you with this matter. Your attorney will then file a motion through the New Jersey court. The next stage is a hearing where you and your attorney will be required to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This is often a tricky process, so it makes sense to hire a qualified and experienced attorney.
Getting Legal Help
If you are searching for a dependable attorney who can help you with child custody modifications, reach out to Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law today.