When can people change their child custody orders?

| Oct 29, 2020 | child custody |

There are many parents who have children together but are no longer in a relationship. This could be because the parents went through a divorce or they were never married in the first place. When parents are no longer in a relationship many times they have a child custody order put in place during the divorce or a custody proceeding after the initial split. These custody orders can be in place for many years as well depending on the age of the children when they are issued.

Circumstances of both the parents and the children may change over the years. Sometimes what was initially ordered is no longer feasible or in the best interests of the children. When there has been a change in the circumstances, a parent may be able to seek a modification of the custody order. However, the parent must demonstrate that certain requirements have been met.

Requirements for modification of custody

The simplest way to modify a custody order is if the parents agree to the modification. However, if there is no agreement, parents must demonstrate one of the following requirements:

  • One parent is repeatedly interfering with the other parent’s custody rights and the interference is not warranted;
  • The present environment at one parent’s home creates mental, emotional or physical harm to the children;
  • The child is of a suitable age to express their preference and the reasons they present for why they prefer a change is in their best interest;
  • The parenting time was based solely on the distance between the parents or their jobs and those circumstances have changed;
  • The age of the child was the sole reason for the schedule and now the child is older and those reasons are no longer in the best interests of the child;
  • Other factors that show a change in the circumstances and the order is no longer in the best interests of the child.

There are many parents in New Hampshire who have custody orders that are no longer in the best interests of their children. Modification of custody is complicated though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be beneficial.