In order to file a modification for custody, it requires you filing a petition in the courthouse. Typically, in order to file a modification of custody petition, there has to be a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the last custody order.
There is no set list of what a substantial change in circumstances is. In the past, a custodial parent who is failing to care for the child’s medical needs, education needs, or even if that parent is not fostering a relationship between the other parent and the child, that could be a substantial change in circumstances.
After you file the petition for a change in custody, the court then looks to see if it’s in the child’s best interest to modify custody. In addition, once a child reaches the age of 13 or 14, the court starts to seriously consider the child's wishes to which parent the child wants to reside with.
For the petition to be the strongest, we ask our clients to start keeping a journal of incidents that have occurred that would indicate to the court that it is in the child's best interest to modify custody to the other parent.
We typically like our petitions to be as specific as possible. When you are creating your journal, list a specific date, time, month or season, and we will include that in the petition so that we will submit a strong application to the court.
For a free consultation regarding a divorce or family law issue in Suffolk or Nassau County, please contact us or call (631) 337-1977. We look forward to speaking with you.