Child custody orders are not permanent. They can be modified to reflect changes in circumstances on either the child’s or parent’s side. However, you must follow some legal procedures when modifying a child custody order.
First, there must be significant changes since the court issued the existing orders. For example, if one parent’s work schedule has changed, and they are no longer available to take care of the child, this may be a significant change in circumstances. However, if the change is temporary, such as a brief illness or vacation, it may not be sufficient grounds for modification.
The modification process explained
There are two ways of modifying custody orders in Tennessee. The easiest way is by agreeing with your co-parent on the changes you seek. If you can come up with a mutually agreeable custody arrangement, the court will approve it if it is in the children’s best interests.
But, if one parent objects to such changes, the process involves a court petition to modify the custody orders. Here, a judge will evaluate the evidence submitted by both parents and listen to both sides of the story before deciding the way forward.
Remember, the court’s decision is based on what is best for the children and not the convenience of the parents. Therefore, your petition will be unsuccessful if you do not convince the court that modifying the existing orders is best for the children.
The modification process can be a complex affair
Modifying child custody orders when you are not on the same page with your spouse is not as straightforward. The legal procedures and paperwork involved in the process can be overwhelming.
Therefore, it is prudent to seek qualified counsel if you are thinking of changing the current custody orders. The proper guidance will help you navigate the legal process and help you achieve a desirable outcome.