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Things that Warrant Modifications to Child Custody

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in Family | 0 comments

In a contested divorce, which is settled in court, child custody is one of the major issues which spouses, through their lawyers, argue about, often to the point of discrediting each other before the judge, who will be deciding who the most qualified child custodian is.

Child custody experts, psychologists and legal professionals believe in the importance of a child’s having a strong relationship with both parents. Thus, if both parents are seen fit by the court, it usually decides on granting joint physical custody, wherein both spouses are given equal time with their children. According to the website of Alexander & Associates, joint custody is a special case, as the normal decision is to grant custody to only one parent. Whatever decision is made, though, judges, in all US states, consider one common factor: the best interest of the child. This is of absolute importance to every court, and the overall deciding factor of any decision.

Sometimes, though, court decisions do not bring about projected outcomes as some parents, either the one who has custody or the one with visitation rights, fail to live up to the court’s expectations, becoming neglectful in their obligations either in the proper performance of their function or in recognizing and respecting the other parent’s rights and personhood.

These failures are legally termed as visitation or custody interferences, which call for a modification in the court’s original decision. The following acts are considered forms of these interferences:

  • Denying the non-custodial parent to enjoy his or her visitation rights by creating situations that will alienate the child from him or her
  • Severing a child’s affections for the non-custodial parent through ill-talks, false accusations and/or negative comments
  • Consciously and systematically brainwashing the children to turn them against the non-custodial. This negative attitude is known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
  • Ignoring a divorce decree stipulation which says that the custodial parent should inform the non-custodial parent about his or her plan of moving to another city or state, or any plan of a change of residence. Many custodial parents actually relocate to a distant location secretly in order to keep the children away from the non-custodial parent and so have the children fully to herself.

There are other reasons, of course, that also warrant modifications to child custody arrangements. Some of these include:

  • The custodial parent becoming unfit due to addiction or dependence to alcohol or illegal drug, or other legal problems
  • Remarriage of the custodial parent
  • The custodial parent passing away or developing a health problem that can restrict his or her duty in caring for the child
  • The child, upon reaching the age of 12, requests for a change in living arrangements. The only reason why a court may deny this request is if it sees that a change will not be in best interest of the child.

It is possible for a custodial parent to be convinced that a child custody modification should be made in order to transfer custody rights away himself or herself or vice versa.

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