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Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Allegheny And Butler Counties

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Can we modify an existing custody order?

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2022 | Child Custody |

It may have taken you and your ex weeks of negotiation to arrive at a parenting plan that both of you felt was appropriate. If emotions were particularly high when you first separated, you may have required a judge to make those key decisions on behalf of your family.

Regardless of whether you litigated custody matters or cooperated for an uncontested custody hearing, the two of you may eventually realize that your existing custody order is no longer good enough for your family’s needs. If one of you moved to a new house or a new job, the current division of your parental responsibilities and parenting time may fail to fully meet your family’s needs.

Can you update or modify your existing custody order?

Modifications occur frequently in Pennsylvania

No matter how careful you or the judge tried to be when dividing your parental responsibilities and parenting time, it is simply impossible to predict all future changes for your family. Some families will have a working custody plan that meets their needs for years before they have to go back for a modification hearing. Others will find that within a few months, their custody order has started to lead to unnecessary conflict.

Any time there has been a significant change in family circumstances, you may have grounds to file a modification request. Even if you and your ex fought bitterly over custody initially, you can still cooperate this time.

Uncontested modifications are simple

Provided that both parents agree about the necessary changes, such as an update to the parenting schedule that reflects someone’s new job, you can file an uncontested modification request. You will basically present the courts with the updated terms that you would like included in your custody plan, and a judge will review those changes. As long as they agree that they are in the best interests of your children, they will likely approve them and enter an updated custody order for your family.

If you and your ex do not agree about the necessary changes to your parenting arrangements, the good news is that you can litigate a custody modification. Each of you will have a chance to present evidence about why your preferences are what would be in the best interests of the children, and a judge will make changes based on their understanding of your family circumstances.

Looking into your right when you need to update your custody arrangement will help you ensure that your custody order is truly in the best interests of your children.


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