Can a Temporary Child Custody Order be Modified?
If you are in the midst of a divorce or custody case, the court may have already issued a temporary custody order. Temporary custody orders are intended to keep the life of the child stable while the court takes the time to come to a permanent custody decision. Most temporary custody orders aim to prevent moving the children back and forth between households. But can a temporary order be changed/ What if the temporary custody orders are the cause of stress or strife in the life of the child? What if something significant has happened in the life of the child? Although it is difficult to alter temporary custody orders, it can be done if you present the right evidence to the judge.
The Judge May be Willing to Modify Temporary Custody Orders When:
- The custodial parent is in violation of the terms of the existing temporary order.
- The custodial parent is putting the children in danger (i.e., violence, chemical dependency, cohabitation with dangerous individual/s, etc.)
- The custodial parent interferes with the non-custodial parent’s court-ordered visitation time with the child.
- The custodial parent is planning to move; removing the child from the area.
Preparing for Court: The Burden of Proof
- When seeking a modification to temporary custody orders, a parent must file a motion, write an affidavit, and collect additional affidavits from professionals, neighbors, family members, friends, etc. the support the motion.
- The court is likely to adjust the existing temporary custody order if the parent seeking the change can prove that the children are in danger of being harmed due to a significant change in circumstances. There must be a clear and obvious difference in the current situation and the situation at the time of the court’s temporary orders.
How the Court Decides to Modify Temporary Custody Orders:
- If a motion to change temporary custody orders is submitted, the judge may schedule a hearing so facts and info can be gathered from various witnesses.
- Or the court may make a decision based on paperwork and affidavits submitted by the parents involved in the case.
- The court may also appoint a “guardian ad litem” or custody evaluator to talk to both the child and the parents and provide a set of recommendations.
If you need help modifying temporary custody orders or if you are worried about your child’s safety due to the current custody order, please get in touch with one of the experienced California divorce and custody attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.