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Modifying a child custody order in California

California custody orders may require modification as the child grows and the situation between the parents and other custodial individuals evolves. It may be necessary to raise or decrease the amount of support provided, change the terms and times of visitation, answer questions relating to living circumstances and resolve a variety of other issues. The court will be willing to review the changing circumstances and alter any binding court orders appropriately. It is required that all parties continue to obey the terms of the existing order until such time as it has been superseded.

Parents and custodians often update their custody orders every two to three years. The court will then be asked to look over the proposed new parenting plan. It may be necessary to demonstrate to the court how that the circumstances have changed. The stability of the living circumstances and the best interests of the child will be the court's main concerns.

In cases where all responsible individuals agree, the court order can be changed through an agreement. If there is dissent as to the proper changes, then one of the parents or custodians can file with the appropriate court for a modification. It is common for the disagreeing custodians to be asked to meet with a mediator before a court hearing.

Issues relating to child custody contain the possibility of serious disputes between the custodians and other people involved. It may be helpful for each of the parents to separately retain the services or otherwise consult with an attorney who has experience in these types of important family law matters.

Source: The Judicial Branch of California , "Changing a Custody Order", January 06, 2015

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