Court room

If you are a parent who shares custody of your child with the other parent, there may come a time when you need to modify the existing custody order. While it can be challenging to modify a custody order, certain circumstances may warrant a change. Here are five common reasons to modify a Massachusetts custody order. If any of these apply to your custody situation, reach out, and we can help get you through this process.

The child’s needs have changed.

As children grow older, their needs inevitably change. What worked when they were younger may no longer be appropriate as they get older. For example, a child previously in daycare may need to be in after-school care. Or, a child who spent every other weekend with the other parent may now want (or need) to spend more time with that parent. If the child’s needs have changed and the current custody arrangement is no longer working, modification may be warranted.

One of the parents has moved.

When divorced parents live nearby, custody agreements can often be pretty straightforward. However, when one parent moves far away, adjustments may need to be made to ensure that the child still has a meaningful relationship with both parents. In these situations, modifying the custody order through the court system may be necessary. This process typically involves submitting a request for modification and attending a hearing before a judge. It is vital to take swift action and not wait until visitation conflicts arise, as this can cause unnecessary stress for both the child and the non-relocating parent. While custody modification can be intimidating, it is ultimately in the child’s best interest and their relationship with both parents. The courts will always consider what is in the child’s best interest when making custody decisions. Thus, pursuing modification may often be necessary in cases where one parent has moved away.

One of the parents is not following the custody order.

Both parents are expected to abide by the terms when custody arrangements are being made. However, sometimes a parent may not follow the custody order, causing difficulties for the other parent and potentially affecting the child’s well-being. In such instances, custody modification may be necessary. This process involves revisiting the custody agreement and making essential changes to enforce compliance with the order. Factors such as failure to pay child support or consistently to be late for custody exchanges may warrant a modification. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that both parents fulfill their responsibilities and that the custody arrangements work for everyone involved. It is critical to discuss any potential custody modifications with a legal professional.

There has been a change in circumstances.

When a custody order is first established, it is based on the circumstances and needs of both parents and the child. However, life is constantly changing, and staying on top of any changes that may affect your custody arrangement is crucial. If there has been a change in circumstances since the original custody order was issued, such as job loss or marriage/divorce, custody modification may be necessary. At Sawin Law, P.C., we understand the importance of updating custody arrangements as situations change. If you believe your custody agreement should be modified, call (781) 713-1212 to see how the experienced family law attorneys at Sawin Law, P.C., can assist you in making those necessary changes. Don’t allow outdated custody arrangements to impact your family’s well-being; take action and contact us today.

There are signs of abuse or neglect.

If there are indications of abuse or neglect, this could provide grounds for a custody modification. This applies not only to direct abuse or neglect from a parent but also to any instances where the child is being exposed to such behavior from another person in their caregiver’s life. Substance abuse, physical harm, emotional abuse, and neglect are all potential red flags that could warrant a custody modification. It’s important to remember that even if the abusive or negligent behavior is not ongoing, the court may consider past and current evidence in making this decision. Ultimately, ensuring the safety and well-being of the child should always be the highest priority.

While it can be challenging to modify a custody order, certain circumstances may warrant a change. Suppose you are seeking to modify an existing custody arrangement in Massachusetts. In that case, you must consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate this complex process and advocate on your behalf.

Learn more about how we can help with your custody modification case by contacting us at (781) 713-1212. We serve clients throughout Plymouth County and surrounding areas.