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How difficult is it to change a custody agreement in New York?

Divorced parents may have agreed to a custody arrangement that no longer serves the relevant children well. When this is the case in the state of New York, a parent may seek a modification of the child custody agreement.

In order to petition the court for a change to an existing deal, the alteration needs to be in the child’s best interest and a significant change of circumstances must exist.

Common reasons to seek a child custody modification

When a custody agreement no longer works for a family, a parent may solicit an adaptation from the family court. For a court to consider the change, one of the following must be true:

  • A parent has a substance abuse issue
  • A parent commits domestic violence
  • A parent’s home becomes unstable
  • A parent develops a grave medical condition
  • A parent seeks to move away with the minor
  • The child (over 12 years of age) requests a change
  • A parent abandons or neglects the child
  • The custodial parent moves often
  • The custodial parent changes jobs often or works sporadic hours
  • The custodial parent experiences a substantial change in earnings
  • The custodial parent repeatedly makes the child unavailable for visitation

How to begin the process

Contacting your attorney is one wise way to start the process of modifying your child custody arrangement. You can also petition the court for a change to an existing agreement by filing a form on your own.

If you believe that a change to your current child custody deal would benefit your child, consider filing a petition to modify it.

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