The 4 Steps to Child Custody After Divorce

Child Custody Lawyer

They say that one of the most constant things in life is change. While the majority of spouses do not anticipate this applying to their marriage, it still can sadly happen. Once the divorce is finally over and your child custody agreement is just not working anymore, you may want to look into how to get it updated. Perhaps life circumstances greatly improved since the divorce was finalized, and now you want to be awarded full custody. Here in the article to follow, we have listed four steps to help get you the level of child custody you wish.


Step #1 – Check State Laws

The laws regarding changes to child custody orders may differ based on your state. Unless there was an emergency situation which recently came up, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you can request child custody modification. Do keep in mind that family law judges can frown upon those who request frequent custody changes, so make sure you are truly ready and have no doubts about your decision.


Step #2 – Support Your Stance

Create a file that can serve as supportive evidence about your desire to obtain full custody. If you have received a huge increase of your income, perhaps bring along a few paycheck stubs as proof. Or, if you recently renovated your place to allow a space for your children to play, bring along pictures and how much you invested to have this done. It can speak volumes if you have more than just words to express how badly you want to have full custody of your kids.


Step #3 – Complete Paperwork

Go to the same courthouse where your divorce was filed, and talk with the court clerk about how to request child custody modification. This application may be referred to as “motions for modification” or “post-judgement motions,” where you tell the court about the changes you seek. Once completed, attach any proof related to your improved circumstances. Lastly, inquire to the court clerk about the rules for serving a copy of this request to the other parent.


Step #4 – Court Hearing

Attend your court hearing and remember that your mission is to demonstrate how your children would be better off in your care. Parents can quickly become emotional and frustrated over such a vulnerable topic, so do your best to remain cool headed and only report the facts. Bad-mouthing the other parent during the hearing may only hinder your case. However, if there are recent events in which the other parent was abusive, neglectful or otherwise mistreating your children, bring any evidence you have about these incidents forward. Be prepared that your former spouse may be ready and armed with why you are wrong. You may want to meet with a lawyer offers prior to such a hearing, to get advice on how to make your side of the story as strong as it can be. Focus on reporting how the other parent is unfit for full custody, yet in a respectful and purely informative manner.

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