A child custody order can be modified if there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the existing order was issued. Determining whether a change in circumstances has been substantial is left to the discretion of the trial court. As a general rule, it is not worth attempting to modify an existing custody and/or visitation order unless there are numerous changed circumstances, although each case must be considered on its own merits. A case in which the custodial parent has relocated to another state without permission of the court would present a single yet substantial change of circumstances allowing the non-custodial parent to petition for custody.
It is important when considering whether to seek a modification of custody to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can evaluate not only whether there are sufficient changed circumstances warranting a modification, but also whether there will be sufficient legally admissible evidence to prove the point in court. Contact us for a free consultation.