You must provide proof of the need for a change in orders and any change in the life of your family. Frequent evidence includes: A change in custody and favorable visit order If you think that despite the objections of the other parent, you have reason to change custody of the child, you must begin the process by submitting the necessary documents. As a general rule, this is done by filing a “movement” with the family court near you. You most likely need to make sure that the other parent is “served” or that they receive a copy of the application. First, an assessment may be ordered by a social worker or you must participate in a mediation during which you and the other parent are expected to seek an agreement. If you disagree, the mediator or social worker will make a recommendation to the judge as to whether and how the custody decision should be changed. A hearing is held for you to consult both, you can present your evidence and your arguments, and then a judge will decide what will happen. This usually means that the court will only change custody of the children if something else happens. From a legal point of view, this is generally a “substantial change in circumstances.” In most courts in the United States, before a court even reviews the evidence to determine whether the change is a good idea, the parent who requested the change will be required to prove that there has been a significant change in the circumstances that warrant the court reviewing the evidence to determine what is in the best interests of the children.
If the circumstances do not change, the court will probably not consider the evidence you wish to present. Examples of situations that could constitute such a “significant change” could include long-distance movement, changing living conditions, changing the environment, or changing the parent`s ability to provide a home or care for children. If the parents cannot agree, they go through a trial that ends with a judge`s decision (or judicial arbitrator) to change at a hearing. The court could either grant the changes requested by the parents, or make various changes, or refuse to amend the orders. The first important consideration is the length of time that has elapsed since the initial custody agreement was put in place. In general, it is considered best for the child to have as much consistency as possible. For this reason, most courts, among others, will not make an amendment within a specified period of time after the creation of the original custody agreement.