Your divorce will bring changes to virtually every area of your life. You may find that you continue to experience changes and adjustments, even long after your divorce is final. There are times when alterations in your circumstances affect your ability to abide by the terms of your divorce agreement, specifically your child custody and visitation order. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to seek a modification of your order.
Simply wanting a change is not necessarily a valid reason to seek a modification. However, New Jersey courts recognize that parents need a way by which they can petition for an alteration to terms that they currently are unable to maintain. If you believe that this type of change is necessary for your situation, you will benefit from learning more about how you can seek a modification.
Reasons for a change
You cannot change your child custody terms simply because you don’t like them. However, if you have experienced drastic changes in your circumstances, or other issues with your kids are now affecting your custody order, a change may be necessary. You can work with the other parent to secure a modification if you choose to do so. The two of you may be able to agree on alterations that are satisfactory to both of you. However, this is not always the case, and you may have to file a petition with the court for a modification.
Valid reasons to file a modification request with a family court include a physical relocation, the threat of harm to the child, suspicion of drug abuse by the other parent, the incapacitation of the other parent and more. A court will carefully review all of the documentation you’ve provided, as well as witness testimony, before making a decision. The other parent has the right to contest a modification if he or she does not agree with your request.
The best interests of the child
With all decisions made by a New Jersey family court, the best interests of the child are the standard. The court will weigh out the benefits and potential drawbacks of a modification for your kids. If you believe that changing your custody plan will benefit your kids while suiting your current circumstances, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced legal professional about your options.