According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, more than 7,000 divorces per year involve children under the age of 18. When divorcing spouses share children, custody is often the most contentious issue of the divorce. When the spouses cannot come to an agreement, the court determines custodial arrangements via a custody order. The court-ordered arrangements may be good for a short period, but the terms may not have long-term sustainability. If a substantial change in circumstances requires you to alter your custody or visitation order, an experienced Iowa child custody attorney can help make it happen. There are several different approaches to revising custody orders in circumstances that include:
- Agreement by the parties
The easiest way is for both parents to agree to a new arrangement. If this situation occurs, the parties must put the new terms in writing and get them approved by the court. Under all circumstances, the overriding principle of the court is the best interests of the child.
- Change in circumstances
If the parents can’t agree to a new arrangement, the parent seeking a change in the order must file an application to modify the most recent order. This party must demonstrate that a major or substantial change has occurred, which requires a revised custody or visitation arrangement.
- Noncompliant party
An order may also be modified if one parent unreasonably refuses to honor the custody or visitation order. If a party proves that one parent is non-compliant, the court has the power to change the custody and placement of the child. The court may also revise visitation if it suspects that a party continually intends to interfere with the other party’s custodial rights.
When a noncompliant party interferes with your parental rights, it is especially urgent to obtain legal guidance from an experienced Des Moines child custody lawyer.
If you need to revise your custody or visitation order, don’t do it alone. Contact the experienced family law team at Hope Law Firm, P.L.C. — we work hard to protect your parental rights.