When one parent petitions the court for a modification of the child custody arrangement and the other is fighting that petition, a significant change in circumstances is usually required for a judge to even consider the petition. The parent who wants to make the change can hire a child custody lawyer for representation in court so the lawyer can present the evidence and provide crucial support for the client’s case.
A Change in Lifestyle
Perhaps one parent has begun leading a lifestyle the other disapproves of. A child custody lawyer in Frederick, would need to present evidence that this new lifestyle has negative, detrimental results for the children. It cannot simply be a choice that the other spouse dislikes for personal reasons. A lifestyle that involves going to bars frequently and drinking excessively while a babysitter watches the kids might qualify as a negative change.
However, a judge may not find this behavior detrimental in and of itself. The case would be much stronger if that parent had been arrested for driving under the influence. It would be even more impressive if the parent had been driving while intoxicated with the children in the car or had caused an accident. Now the potential element of physical harm to the youngsters arises as it may never have before.
Limiting Time with the Other Parent
Another situation develops when a parent with primary physical custody or shared physical custody starts trying to limit the other parent’s time with the children. An occasional incident will not be enough to convince a judge to modify custody. However, if a lawyer from a firm such as Russell & Heffner can demonstrate an ongoing pattern of behavior, that will better support the petition.
The Key Deciding Factor
The key deciding factor in these cases is whether a change in custody is in the best interests of the children. Otherwise, there is no reason to disrupt their lives by switching custody to the other parent. The parent who wants to petition for a modification should consider that carefully and not only be doing so because they miss being with the kids full-time; they should prioritize the kids’ well-being. To schedule a consultation, contact us now.