When a family court makes a ruling on child custody, that judgment is both binding and enforceable. This means that both parents are expected to honor the terms of custody arrangement unless the court approves a modification.
However, circumstances can change for one or both parents, as well as for the kids, after divorce. Sometimes, these changes can be so substantial as to warrant a modification to the original custody ruling. The parent seeking custody modification must demonstrate to the court that new developments exist that substantially impact the child’s best interest. Here are common scenarios that may prompt one or both parents to seek custody modification.
When the custodial parent relocates with the kid
The noncustodial parent may seek custody review and modification if the custodial parent relocates with the child. Here are the circumstances when the court can consider relocation as a valid reason for custody modification:
- When the relocation places a major burden on the noncustodial parent making the existing custody schedule impractical
- When relocation has a substantial negative effect on the child’s welfare
When one parent repeatedly violates custody terms
As already mentioned, both parents are obliged to honor an existing custody arrangement. However, if one parent is consistently failing to live up to their end of the deal, perhaps refusing to release the child for visits or not returning the child on time, the aggrieved parent may petition the court for custody modification. Besides filing for modification, the aggrieved parent may also request the court to hold the other parent in contempt of court.
When the child’s welfare is endangered
Since the child’s best interest is usually the primary consideration during custody ruling, endangerment is definitely one of the most compelling reasons why the court may consider modifying custody. If either parent is involved in activities or behaviors that could jeopardize the child’s welfare, the other parent can petition the court to modify custody and limit the offending parent’s rights to custody.
Custody modification can be difficult in Kentucky. The parent petitioning for the modification must prove that this is in the best interest of the child if they are to stand a chance of getting a positive outcome.