No judge or attorney can foresee all circumstances that may arise down the road, when child custody arrangements are initially determined. The reality of most child custody arrangements is that they only work under the situations in place at the time they are put into effect.
People move, they remarry, job situations change, and sometimes the behavior of a parent requires that the child custody arrangements originally created need to be modified to ensure that the bests interests of the children are preserved. Whatever the reason for desiring a modification of child custody or visitation arrangements, working with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can make this process far more manageable.
What is the basis for modification of an existing Order?
In order to modify an existing child custody or visitation order, a change in circumstances since the date of entry of the last order must have occurred. A “change in circumstances” is required in order to have a court modify child custody and visitation orders. Once a change in circumstances is proven, the court then determines whether a child custody or visitation modification is necessary, using the factors set forth in Virginia Code § 20-124.3. When the court is considering a child custody modification, or visitation modification, it applies the “best interests of the child” standard, as set forth in Virginia Code § 20-124.2.
For more information on modifications of existing child custody and visitation arrangements, and to obtain specific advice on the laws applicable to your situation, please contact us to schedule a consultation.