When can people modify their child custody orders?

| May 11, 2021 | Child Custody |

People’s lives in Ohio can change both quickly or slowly over time. This is especially true for children who change as they grow older and mature mentally, emotionally and physically. Parents need to adapt and change as their children grow older and change as well. This is not always an easy task for any parent, but there can be even more complications if the parents are divorced.

This is because generally when people are divorced there is a child custody order dictating who is making decisions for the children in addition to when each parent will have the children in their care. Sometimes parents divorce when the children are young too and the custody and parenting time orders are made based on the circumstances of the children and parents at the time of the divorce. Over the years as the children and potentially the circumstances of the parents change, the child custody order may no longer be in the best interests of the children.

Basis for modifying child custody orders

Child custody orders cannot be change simply because one parent no longer likes it though. Certain requirements must be met first. The first requirement is that there must be a change in the circumstances since the last order was issued. It cannot be any change in the circumstances though. The change must create a direct and harmful effect on the children. The modification of the current order also must be in the best interests of the children. Also, the harm to the children created by changing the schedule must be outweighed by the good of changing the order.

There are many parents in Ohio who have child custody orders governing how the parents share in the parenting responsibilities. There are a variety of reason that the lives of the parents and/or children may change, but if those changes are harmful to the children, the custody order may need to be modified. These are very fact-specific cases though and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.