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When can people change custody orders?

| Oct 13, 2020 | Child Custody |

When parents in Ohio go through a divorce there are many parts of their lives which they must separate during the process. One of the issues that needs to be resolved is that child custody and parenting time must be established. This may occur when the children are fairly young though, which means that the custody orders may be in effect for many years. However, circumstances can change over time and custody orders issued many years prior may no longer be in the children’s best interest.

Because of this fact, in certain situations parents may be able to modify the custody orders. They cannot be changed simply because a parent is no longer happy with the order though. Parents must meet certain requirements prior to being able to modify custody orders.

Basic requirements for modifying custody

The first requirement is that the parent seeking a modification must be able to demonstrate that there has been a change in the circumstances. The change in circumstances must be harmful to the children in some way and finally parents must show the modification is in the best interests of the children.

There are many reasons why a change in the circumstances may be harmful to the children and may justify a modification of custody. However, some examples are the children are being neglected in the custodial parent’s home and their needs are not being met. A parent has developed a substance abuse issue or mental health issues that the parent is not dealing with properly. Also, a parent’s criminal conviction or jail time can be a basis to modify custody.

You may benefit from professional guidance

There are many parents in Ohio who are co-parenting with a parent they are no longer married to. In these situations, there is most likely a custody order in place, which will govern the parents until the children are emancipated or until it is modified by the court. Modifications of a custody order are necessary in some situations, but people must still seek the modification and it can be a complicated process. Consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.