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Modifying child custody orders in New York

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2022 | Family Law

As a parent, you are obviously concerned about your children’s welfare. But, what if the current custody arrangement is not working in the best interests of the children due to recent developments on your co-parent’s side? What can you do about it?

In such a case, you can petition the court to revise its prior orders in light of the current situation if you cannot agree with your co-parent. Here is what you need to know.

When can the court revise custody orders?

Children need stability in their lives, and courts don’t rush to modify custody orders. However, the same courts recognize that circumstances may change since the orders were issued, which is why they are not cast in stone.

Either parent can request a modification of custody orders based on the children’s wellbeing. However, the court needs solid reasons to shift its earlier position. A simple word of mouth or a disagreement on parenting may not be enough for a successful modification petition. 

You need to provide supporting strong evidence for the court to modify existing orders. Some of the reasons a judge will change an existing custody arrangement include:

  • Imprisonment of your co-parent
  • Relocation to an unfriendly neighborhood
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Physical abuse toward the children
  • Neglecting parental duties
  • Constant violation of the existing orders, among others

For all the above instances, you need to show how the children’s safety or development is at risk.

Protecting your children’s interests

When seeking a custody modification, the onus is on you to convince the court why it is necessary. As such, it is advisable to get assistance on how you should go about the modification process to ensure things go your way. Your children’s safety is not something to be taken lightly, and you should do all you can to protect them.