Skip to Content

How to File for Child Custody Modification in California

Tue 25th Jul, 2017 Family Law

If one or both parents wish to change a child custody order in California, they can file papers with the court asking for child custody modification. The team of seasoned child custody attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP in Stockton, CA, and Sacramento, CA understand the challenges these cases present and how to best approach them.

How Do I File for a Child Custody Modification?

To file a child custody modification in California, you will first fill out paperwork that details the reasons why the change is necessary. You may include a proposal for new custody arrangements. You, your child’s other parent, and the court will retain copies of the paperwork. You will file your forms with the court clerk and the clerk will, most likely, give you a court date. If your local court requires it, you will attend mediation prior to your court hearing. If no agreement is reached, you will attend the scheduled hearing. The judge will make a decision at the hearing and sign a court order.

When Can I File for a Child Custody Modification?

You may seek a child custody modification at any time. The court may determine a modification is necessary if it is in the child’s best interest. It is incumbent upon the parent seeking the modification to demonstrate to the court a significant change of circumstances and that a modification would, in fact, be in the child’s best interest. Generally speaking, stable and consistent arrangements are considered best for the child, so you will have to present a strong case.

What Are Reasons Why Parents Seek Child Custody Modifications?

To successfully modify a child custody order, you will need to demonstrate that circumstances have changed and that your proposal is in the child’s best interest. Some common reasons why parents seek child custody modifications include:

  • Relocation
  • Endangerment of the child
  • Failure to care for the child
  • Preference of the child to live or spend more time with the non-custodial parent
  • Failure to adhere to the terms of the existing order (i.e. denying the other parent visitation)

How Can Our Team of Child Custody Attorneys Help?

Knowing that your child is properly cared for and is in the best possible situation is paramount. Our experienced child custody attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP will:

  • Approach your case with the utmost compassion and understanding
  • Seek an amicable agreement to prevent court intervention and avoid costly litigation fees
  • Guide you through a complex process and explain your rights and alternatives clearly
  • Develop a comprehensive plan that puts your child’s safety and well-being at the forefront
  • Offer informed and realistic counsel so that you understand exactly where you stand

Contact Us to Learn More

A child custody modification is difficult to go through for any parent or child. Having already gone through at least one court order, it can be difficult to stomach another. However, if it is in the child’s best interest, our team of skilled child custody attorneys at McKinley, Conger, Jolley & Galarneau, LLP can help you make things right. To learn how to visit us online or call 209-477-8171 today.

Back to Top