Despite his best efforts, a father might not win child custody during divorce. Reasons include failure to make a strong case to a family court judge or issues that do not support the view that he is the better caregiver. The outcome can be mentally and emotionally devastating but there is a way to change it. A non-custodial father can petition for modification of child custody arrangements and get some expert assistance to increase his chance of receiving it.
Court-issued child custody orders can be modified due to changes in circumstances. Many parents experience lifestyle changes following divorce that render existing custody arrangements less than ideal. In the best-case scenario, both parents agree to modify the custody arrangement. With assistance from a family law attorney, they file a revised custody agreement with the court, which is quickly approved.
Unfortunately, a custodial parent may not be willing to share or relinquish custody. When parents cannot agree to modify custody arrangements, the case must go before a judge, who can be difficult to convince. Retaining a family law attorney for child custody help is strongly recommended for the petitioning parent. Otherwise, the effort may be a fruitless one, resulting in no changes to custody.
Most states require the non-custodial parent to file a petition or motion with the court requesting the custody change. An immediate decision is not likely and a hearing is scheduled so a judge can listen to arguments from both sides. Only major circumstantial changes that render the existing custodial home unsafe from a physical or emotional standpoint warrant modification of a custody arrangement. Modification may also be granted if an older child wishes to change his or her primary household.
It is not enough for a non-custodial father to claim that the home of the mother is a dangerous place. Proof is required in the form of documentation such as police reports and testimony from individuals who have witnessed the situation first-hand. A family law lawyer can help the father find a counselor to talk to the child and testify about how the changed conditions have impacted the youngster.
The process of changing a child custody order is complicated and varies by state. Every child custody case is different so each requires different evidence. To build a strong, comprehensive case that will convince a judge to modify an existing custody arrangement, get child custody help from a family law attorney.