During the course of your divorce proceedings, you may have felt inundated by issues that needed to be resolved in short order: child custody and support, housing considerations, asset division and career matters. At the time, you thought that the custody agreement was specific enough in how it addressed future conflicts. Now you realize that there are aspects of your new life that the custody agreement does not cover. You realize that your decision to request a modification of custody is not one to be taken lightly. The process is complex and may cause conflict with your former spouse, but you feel that the change will be beneficial.
While family court allows parents to modify visitation guidelines without requiring evidence that a change in circumstances warrants an alteration, the same standard does not apply for modifying custody orders. Changing custody agreements will not be allowed unless a parent can prove a significant change in family circumstances has taken place. We have discussed court-approved reasons for requesting a custody change: deployment of a parent, the wishes of the child and relocation of a parent.