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Los Gatos, CA child custody violation lawyerFollowing the finalization of a divorce, both parties will likely feel some level of relief, since they will be able to move on and begin the next phase of their lives. However, there are some cases in which conflicts can continue even after the divorce process has ended. Divorced parents are required to follow the child custody orders established by the court, and if one parent does not meet their requirements, the other parent may need to take legal action. If your spouse has violated your child custody order, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney to determine your legal options.

Examples of Custody Violations 

Custody order violations may pertain to both physical and legal custody. The most common violations involve a parent failing to abide by the terms of physical custody. For example, a parent may be consistently late picking up or dropping off children at the beginning and end of their visitation time, or one parent may refuse to allow the other parent to spend time with children as ordered by the court. Violations regarding legal custody may involve a parent making decisions about children’s education or healthcare without consulting with the other parent, or one parent may refuse to share information such as children’s school or medical records with the other party.

Steps You Can Take 

In the state of California, custody order violations are taken seriously, and they can result in significant legal consequences. If your ex-spouse has committed this type of violation, you will want to document the specific details of how they have violated the court’s orders. This may include noting the dates and times when they did not follow the visitation schedule or gathering other forms of evidence showing that they did not meet their court-ordered requirements. If your ex-spouse has consistently and willfully violated your child custody order, you may ask that they be held in contempt of court. If necessary, you can also petition the court for a modification of your child custody order to address your ex-spouse’s actions and ensure that your children’s best interests are protected.

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Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos child custody modification lawyerThe divorce process can be incredibly stressful, and it will require you to make a number of changes to your life. As you transition from married life to being single, both you and your ex-spouse may be looking for a new living situation, seeking new employment, and determining how you can provide for your children. While the decisions made during your divorce are meant to provide a permanent solution, either party’s situation may change drastically in the years after the divorce. In cases where a person’s circumstances have changed, certain parts of a divorce decree can be modified. These post-divorce modifications may address changes to child custody, child support, or spousal support, and when pursuing a modification, you will want to work with a knowledgeable attorney. 

Modifying Your Child Custody Order 

In order to seek a modification to child custody, you must be able to demonstrate to the court that a change in circumstances has occurred. During divorce, the decisions made about legal and physical custody may take parents’ work schedules and housing situations into account. If a parent experiences changes in these areas, either party may petition the court for a modification. For example, if a change in your work schedule would allow you to spend more time with your child, you may ask that your visitation schedule be modified accordingly.

Modifications can also be requested if either parent has failed to provide the care their child needs. If the other parent is struggling to get your child to school on time, not spending adequate time with the child, or failing to provide proper food or clothing, you may ask that the child spend more time with you so you can ensure that their needs will be met. If your ex-spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, and this puts your child at risk, you can request that restrictions be placed on their parenting time, such as requiring supervision to be present when your child is with them.

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Los Gatos child custody modification attorneyDuring a divorce, or after the birth of a child to an unmarried mother, decisions must be made about how child custody and visitation will be handled. After these matters are settled, and a plan is put in place, it may remain in effect until the child reaches adulthood. However, there are some circumstances in which a child custody agreement could and/or should be modified. A custody modification, however, is not something to be taken lightly. Typically, the parents must either be in agreement about the change, or there must have been a “change in circumstances.”

What Is a Change in Circumstances?

If you feel your child custody or visitation agreement should be changed, and the child’s other parent disagrees, then you will have to petition for a modification through the legal system. You may end up having to meet with a mediator or go before a judge to plead your case. You will not get anywhere in your quest, however, unless you can show that there has been a significant “change in circumstances” since the original parenting plan was put in place.

This means that there must have been some major change or big event in the child’s or the parent’s life that makes the previous custody arrangement no longer viable. The reason has to be significant, and the focus will be on the best interests of the child. A parent typically will not be able to have a child custody agreement changed without proving that this change to the child’s regular routine will be beneficial to the child.

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