There are many different changes that come about in life. Your children will grow, jobs may change, and people will move from state to state. With that being said, it is normal for your current custody order to need to be changed as it may no longer fit you and your family’s needs.
When this happens, you may need a child custody order modification. A New Orleans child custody attorney from The Law Office of James A. Graham can help you seek an order modification.
The types of child custody modification orders
In the state of Louisiana, there are different types of child custody orders, which include the following:
- Considered decree: This child custody decision is made after looking at evidence and hearing testimony. After this type of order is completed, it cannot be changed except under certain circumstances. To modify this order, you must prove that the current custody order no longer fits the best interests of the child. This may be a harder order to change, and it will require a lot of evidence to convince the Judge.
- Consent decree: This is an order that both individuals agreed to, but can be modified in certain circumstances. You will need to provide clear proof that the change will benefit the child and be in their best interest.
When you are interested in making modifications to your child custody order, you need to be prepared to have a strong case. You and your lawyer will work together to collect evidence supporting your case. The objective is to show that the change is needed and will positively benefit your children. If you are against modifying the child custody order, you will need to make a good argument explaining why it is not in the best interest of the child to change the custody order.
The Law Office of James A. Graham understands that every case is unique. As a result, we will look at your case and assist you with creating a plan for modifying or denying a change in a custody order. We have the knowledge and experience that allows us to offer strong and informed advice when it comes to child custody modifications.
What happens if I have an emergency custody change?
There are certain situations that may result in a temporary child custody change. These are usually emergency situations where you must be able to show that your child may be in danger if the custody order is not changed. A few of the different circumstances that may be granted an emergency modification include the following:
- Drug use
- Alcohol use
- Anything that puts the child’s life in danger
If you believe that there is an emergency that requires a custody order modification, our professional lawyers can guide you through the process.
What does Louisiana law prefer when it comes to child custody order modifications?
The state of Louisiana prefers parents to equally share their children, but custody can look different for each set of parents. When Louisiana courts are deciding custody of children, they usually choose joint custody, sole custody to one parent, or one parent having primary custody and the other parent getting visitation. As your court hearing starts, Louisiana Judges will view both parents as equal but will investigate and determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Even though Louisiana prefers to give parents equal custody of their children, courts understand that this is not always possible. They are also aware of the fact that there may be circumstances that come up that may result in the custody order needing to be changed later. If the current custody order is not voluntarily terminated or changed by both parents, Louisiana will look for change in circumstances and the child’s preference of where they would like to live (depending on the child’s age).
Can I also modify child support?
If you are thinking about modifying child custody, you may also be thinking about modifying child support. According to the Department of Children and Family Services, your child support may be able to be modified if your circumstances have changed. It may qualify for modification if one of the following is true:
- The current order was put in place over three years ago
- The amount on the child support order is different by at least 25 percent
- A change in circumstances has emerged since the last child support order was put in place
The types of circumstances that may be considered when determining a child support modification are:
- One parent’s income has changed
- The medical coverage for the child has changed
- The child now resides with a different parent
There are certain information and documents that you will need to show within 30 days of requesting modification to child support, which include:
- Costs for childcare
- Health insurance
- Any medical expenses
- Educational expenses
- Traveling and transportation expenses
Do I need a direct reason for a child custody modification?
While divorce is a stressful and overwhelming situation, it becomes even more emotionally difficult when a child is involved. Some couples have an easy time dealing with child custody problems, while others have a more difficult time. This can lead to disputes when agreeing on custody arrangements, leaving the court to make the ultimate decision.
It is typical for parents to need to make changes and update the child custody order as time goes on and the child becomes older. You have the right to file for a modification to your child custody order whenever circumstances warrant.
If you need help with modifying your child custody order, the New Orleans child custody attorneys at The Law Office of James A. Graham will be happy to assist you. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation.