The decisions you made about child custody during your divorce are usually based upon your circumstances at that time in your life. You may have been supportive of your former spouse having physical custody of your child, but now, a few years down the road, your circumstances have changed. Or the circumstances of your former spouse have changed.
Louisiana custody laws require a significant change of circumstances to approve a custody order modification.
For example, your spouse receives a job opportunity in another state but doesn’t want to move your child away from their school and friends. If you are amenable to taking physical custody of your child, you could request a modification.
Other significant circumstances can include:
- You are planning to move to another state and want to ensure you can continue visiting your child.
- Your ex-spouse lives with a new partner whom you believe may harm or negatively impact your child.
- Your former spouse no longer follows the original custody order, such as refusing to let you visit according to your visitation schedule.
- Your former spouse has become reliant on alcohol or drugs.
- You fear for your child’s safety in their current living environment.
- Your child has expressed a change in the current arrangements.
- Your former spouse has been severely injured or has died.
If any of these situations apply, you might be eligible to request a modification. You will likely have to appear before a court to explain your reasons, especially if you are seeking change without agreement from your former spouse.
In that scenario, a judge will consider all factors before deciding. Most Louisiana courts consider the best interests of the child when granting any changes to the custody order.
Custody modification is not always easy, but if you and your ex-spouse agree about the change, it will be easier to get approval. Working together is the best option to continue providing your child with a safe and healthy living arrangement.