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How do you modify a child custody agreement in California?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Custody & Visitation |

Child custody orders leave room for future flexibility.

California family law recognizes that circumstances change, and sometimes custody agreements require modification.

Who can request a custody modification?

Custodial and non-custodial parents have the right to file a request for custody modification. The process is relatively simple, but the required documentation can be extensive. You need to complete an FL-300 form and file it with the court. The form requests substantial information, and you can provide supporting documents for your claim.

What are common reasons a judge modifies child custody?

Judges only make changes to custody agreements if the change is in the child’s best interest. Some common reasons to award modification include:

  • The child lived with another family member, such as a sibling, for six months.
  • The child is over the age of 12 and requests to live with the other parent.
  • Either parent faces significant financial changes.
  • The behavior of either the child or the parent changed.
  • The custodial parent has to move away.

This list is not comprehensive, and every case is different. The judge will consider the specific circumstances before making a decision.

What are common reasons for denying a modification request?

The most common reason for denial is that the proposed change is not in the child’s best interest. Other potential reasons include if the other parent does not agree or the parent filing for modification already exhausted the allotted number of modification requests.

In general, if you intend to request a custody modification, you will need to prove that the child will benefit from the change.