California parents are required to comply with their current custody arrangement whether they like its terms. However, there may be valid reasons to request one or more modifications to an existing child custody arrangement.

The family court will make decisions regarding the custody of a child based on what is in his or her best interests. It will typically not change a custody arrangement and alter a child’s way of life unless there are serious reasons for doing so. In considering whether to order a modification of a current custody order, the court will carefully examine the reasons why the parents want the order changed.

One important reason why the court may entertain the idea of a child custody modification is if there is reason to believe that the child is at some immediate risk while in the current household. Multiple factors will be considered when evaluating what dangers exists for the child. The court will examine whether there is domestic violence in the home or if there is an immediate danger to the child. The court will also consider whether the child has shown a desire to leave the residence of the parent where danger may exist.

Another reason the court may consider a modification to a child custody order is if one of the parents wants to move to a distant locale. The parent’s motivation for moving will be examined as well as whether relocation will make the current visitation schedule unfeasible.

A family law attorney may advise parents about what steps should be taken to modify the terms of a current child custody order. A lawyer may advocate on behalf of clients at custody hearings, presenting arguments and evidence that justify a change in a custody order.