Can I Receive a Modification For my New York Child Custody Agreement?

Parents who go through a divorce are required to determine a variety of matters relating to the future of their children. One of the most important matters during this time is that of child custody. When a child custody agreement is established, it is considered the law and therefore must be followed. However, the court also understands that life changes overtime and it can be hard to uphold an agreement made in the past when life was different. It is because of this that modifications can be made under certain circumstances so that the custody arrangement better suits the needs of the family. Continue reading below to learn more about this process.

When Can I Modify Custody Arrangements?

When a parent wants to receive a modification of their child custody agreement, it is important to know that they cannot do so on their own. Parents are required to receive the approval of the court to establish a new arrangement. This can be granted under certain circumstances, such as the following:

  • The child’s best interests. If a child is unhappy in their current situation or it is no longer working out for them, the court is likely to grant a modification.
  • The child is in danger. If a parent feels their child is in danger from their co-parent, family, etc., or they have evidence of abuse or neglect, they can file a petition to modify in order to prevent the child from harm.
  • Relocation. If a parent needs to move out of the area, they may request a modification to bring the child with them.
  • A parent cannot meet the needs of their child. If a parent is experiencing difficulty, they may need to modify their custody agreement so it better suits the needs of their child.
  • One parent is not cooperating. If a parent does not uphold their end of the custody agreement, a modification can be requested. 
  • One parent passes away. If one parent passes away and the other does not want a new spouse to raise their child, they can seek full custody of their child. 

How is Custody Modified?

The best place to begin when seeking a modification is to discuss the matter with the other co-parent. If both parents are on good terms and can negotiate with one another, they may be able to reach an agreement regarding the changes together or with the help of a mediator. This can allow for a quicker and less stressful process. While this is true, even if it is done together, the modification must still be approved by the judge.

If the parents are unable to work together, the one who is requesting the modification can file the petition with the court to receive a court date. During this time, that parent is required to show the judge why the modification is necessary. The judge can then review the situation and establish new custody orders if they decide to approve the modification. 

Contact our Firm

Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.