Burke Levy, P.C.

When can child custody be modified?

Just because a divorce arrangement is marked "final" does not necessarily mean that changes cannot be made. There can be many reasons for modifications, particularly when it comes to child custody. Massachusetts parents who wish to modify the terms of their child custody agreement must meet specific rules and requirements before an order can be modified.

In many cases, an agreement that appears to be working will not be considered by a court unless substantial evidence is provided to indicate that the best interest of the child is at stake. One of the most common reasons for requesting a modification is if the child is believed to be in danger. A court will consider if domestic violence is occurring in the home, if the child is in immediate danger, or if the child expresses unwillingness to stay at the home.

Other considerations are if either parent is relocating to a distant location that may possibly interrupt the child's life, if a parent is not abiding to the current visitation schedule, or if the custodial parent passes away. When presenting evidence, it is important to provide adequate documentation of the events to the judge. These may include school and activity schedules or statements from doctors, teachers or other witnesses.

Parenting can be overwhelming at times, especially when child custody is involved. Disputes can be emotionally draining and very time consuming. For Massachusetts's family wishing to rehash a child custody agreement, the assistance of an experienced legal professional can help with negotiating parenting time, filing a petition and presenting a compelling case to the judge.

Source: thespruce.com, "5 Reasons to Request Child Custody Modification", Debrina Washington, Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018

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