When a couple with children divorces, they will generally seek a child custody arrangement with the court. This order provides a detailed plan about who has physical and legal custody of the child and the other parent’s visitation rights.
But when the lives of the parents or the child changes, alterations to this agreement may be necessary. The experienced attorneys at Marberry Law Firm, P.C., understand the complexities of custody modification. Our team has helped many divorced couples stay balanced when facing changes affecting their children.
Reasons for custody modification
Either parent can seek to modify the custody agreement at any time. If both parents agree, they can draw up a new custody arrangement and petition the court to make it legally binding. However, the Iowa courts will only approve an alteration if there is evidence of a “substantial change in circumstances.” These new circumstances must be essentially permanent and considered unlikely to change anytime soon. Examples of such a change might be:
- Relocation of either parent
- Significant changes in the child’s medical needs
- Alterations to either parent’s financial or housing situation
- Evidence of neglect or abuse
The courts can alter child custody agreements if either parent has previously violated a court order. Similarly, a parent who feels his or her child is at risk could seek a custody agreement change to prompt an investigation into the welfare of the child. When modifying an existing order, a judge will always consider what is in the best interest of the child.
Please visit our webpage on child custody modification to explore legal representation in a custody change.