Even after there is an agreement for custody or a court order granting custody, the court always reserves the right to make changes based upon what is in the best interest of the children. As long as children are minors, the court can make changes in any award which affects them.
Parents must recognize that children mature and circumstances change over time. As parents reassess their developing children’s needs, it is proper to ask whether interests of the children would be best served by making a change in custody. However, parents must also recognize that a change of circumstances (ex: a parent has remarried or is planning to move) does not automatically mean that a change of custody is in the children’s best interest. Each case must be evaluated on its own merits and all factors carefully weighted. Some of the most difficult cases result when one parent decides to relocate out of the Richmond area, making a custody and visitation arrangement that has worked well in the past no longer possible.
Other kinds of post-divorce custody situations we have been called upon to deal with are:
*Father has remarried and has a wife who can stay home with the children.
*Mother has remarried and her new husband has been transferred.
*Children are older and want to go live with the non-custodial parent.
*Child is a teenager and is not progressing well in school and/or is getting into
*One parent has custody, but children have been spending a large portion of
their time (half or more) at the other parent’s home.
These are just a few examples of the many situations that may cause parents to reassess their children’s circumstances. Having an experienced family law attorney help evaluate your particular situation is important.