When making child custody orders, a court generally understands that situations may change later. The law allows you to ask for changes to the orders.
Before filing a modification request, you should make sure you have a valid reason for asking for a change. The law does allow a court to punish a person for filing a frivolous suit.
Who can file
Either parent may file a modification request with the court for child custody. A sibling of the child may also file if he or she is separated from the child due to Department of Family and Protective Services actions.
Where to file
You must file for a modification in the court that handled your original child custody case. Even if you have moved, this court maintains jurisdiction over the matter. You might need to go through a process to get a change of location if needed.
Reasons to file
You may file a modification request for a variety of reasons. You may wish to move with the child and need the court to change custody arrangements and approve the move. If the other parent has had a conviction for a crime involving abuse or violence, then you may wish to ask for a change. There may be situations where changes occur that make it difficult to continue with the current orders or the child may reach an age where he or she wishes to have something within the original order changed.
Child custody modification is not something that should happen often. The best interests of the child means always offering a stable situation, and frequent changes would make that difficult.