custodyYes. This includes child visitation orders. Only if found valid of course. The court will need to find out if your request to change child custody is in your child’s best interest – considering your child’s health, safety, education, and welfare, as well as stability from frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

Officially, you need to show the court that there is a “significant change of circumstances” that warrant a change in custody order. Below are some valid reasons for seeking to change custody orders.

Reasons for Changing Custody Order:

  • If you are the non-custodial parent, and you now live closer or farther from the other parent (especially if you moved out of the state or abroad);
  • If you are the non-custodial parent, and your work schedule has changed. (If you lost your job, this obviously changed your work schedule.);
  • If (usually the custodial) parent has poor parenting skills, or exposing the child to bad influences, or causing the child to miss schooling, etc;
  • If the custodial parent refuses visitation by the non-custodial parent for unjustified reasons; and
  • If your child has reached the age of 14 and has stated which parent he or she prefers. Child preference can be considered by the court even if the child is under 14, if the court sees it in the child’s best interest.

However, child preference can be “gamed” by either parent. A parent can influence a child’s preference by using emotional guilt and abuse. A parent can also make the other parent look bad in the eyes of the child, also called “parental alienation”.

Sometimes children (especially teenagers) might want to move in with the parent that gives them the most freedom from discipline, even if moving in with that parent is not in their best interest. These are things you have to watch out for in a request to change child custody, and you’ll need witnesses and other proofs to show the court for this.

If you or someone you know is in need of professional representation in a divorce, custody or any other family law situation, don’t hesitate and call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Bowman and Associates at 916-923-2800.