CHANGE CUSTODY ORDER
Once someone has received a custody order from the court it becomes permanent and the only way to change a custody order is with a modification. If after a time, either party wants to change a part of the custody order from the courts, they would attempt to “modify” the order with the courts. In Missouri, the best interest of the child is always the top consideration when dealing with any custody issues so a change in a custody order isn’t as easy as it may sound.
A modification would be filed if someone wanted to change the amount of child support or to start or stop child support. Another reason someone would want to change a custody order would be if they wanted to change the physical or legal custody of the child(ren).
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Generally, unless the parties agree to the modification, the courts will step in and decide for the parties what the court thinks is in the best interests of the child(ren). So just because one of the two parties won’t agree doesn’t mean that the courts won’t agree to change the custody order. Not cooperating doesn’t stop anything from happening. If you are facing a modification that you do not agree with, it is best to hire an attorney to represent your interests as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if you feel that circumstances regarding the child(ren) has significantly changed and you want to change a custody order, contact RS Law for a consultation to see how to proceed.
It is important to remember that the court prefers for both parents to co-parent the child(ren) and make decisions together in regards to the child(ren) and share in the responsibilities associated with the child(ren) with equal say in relation to the health, education, and welfare of the child(ren). The court wants the child(ren) to live significant amounts of time with both parents.
Parenting Plans are designed to see that the child(ren) are spending enough time with each parent without regard to the marital status of that parent. Supervised visits or limited visitation are options when the court feels that it isn’t safe for the child(ren) to be alone with a parent. There are some unfortunate situations where some parents are not given any access to their children.
A change to a current custody order would be granted when circumstances regarding the child(ren) has significantly changed. This significant change could be a good change or a bad change. An example of a good change would be if a parent was addicted to drugs or alcohol at the time of the divorce or current custody order and was denied visitation or parenting time with the child(ren) and has since become clean and sober. The newly sober parent would want to file a modification to re enter the child(ren)’s life to co-parent again. An example of a bad change to the circumstances regarding the child(ren) would be if one of the co-parents allowed the child(ren) to stop going to school. In this case, a modification would be requested to stop that parent’s visitation with the child(ren). These are only a few of the examples of the many reasons for modifications.
There are many factors that the court considers before the court will change a custody order and this is why it is extremely important to have RS Law help you through this process. Our experience can make a HUGE difference as to the outcome of filing for or stopping a modification.