Modifying a Custody Order 145

After a divorce or paternity case has been resolved, the final judgment is generally non-modifiable. Two major exceptions exist to this general rule however. The family court retains jurisdiction to modify the child support order and the child custody order until the child reaches the age of majority or is otherwise emancipated. The court can modify these orders when it finds that a modification is in the child’s best interests.


For every determination of child custody (both for original orders and subsequent modifications), the court must find that it meets the jurisdictional requirements of the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (FPKPA) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Both of these federal statutes help determine the proper forum for custody disputes if there is more than one state with an interest in the litigation.

Generally, the state that issued the initial custody order continues to have jurisdiction over that order for modification purposes. However, another state’s court might be allowed to modify the original order if neither the child nor a parent have a continued significant connection to the original state (i.e., they’ve moved away) or that state’s forum is more convenient that the original state’s forum for litigation.

Grounds For Modification Of Child Custody Orders

As noted above, the family court can modify an original custody and visitation order if it is in the best interests of the child. However, most state statutes require that the petitioning parent prove that a significant change of circumstances has occurred since the issuance of the original order such that the original order is no longer in the child’s best interests.

This requirement acts as a gatekeeper, theoretically prohibiting parties and courts from multiple custody modifications in the face of possibly trivial issues and supporting custodial stability. The courts of appeals rule that any custody modification without a showing of significant change in circumstances would be an abuse of discretion.

Commonly cited changes in circumstance include parent relocation, custodial interference or frustration, age of child, parent employment schedule change and, unfortunately, allegations of lack of fitness to appropriately parent. In the event that the moving parent alleges a threat to the child’s physical or emotional well-being, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate and represent the child in the proceedings.

Once the moving parent proves a significant and continuing change in circumstances, the court must still decide what is in the best interest of the child. The court will consider what is best for the child’s health, safety and welfare with a preference for regular (and frequent) contact with both parents.

Parental Relocation

main article: parental relocation

If the non-custodial parent relocates to a distance which precludes the practical exercise of original parenting plan, he or she may ask the court to modify the parenting schedule to accommodate longer (though less frequent) visits. Mid-week overnights or even regular weekends may no longer be feasible if the non-custodial parent moves far enough away. The court may order increased spring or summer vacation time instead.

If the custodial parent decides to relocate, he or she must receive consent from the non-custodial parent or approval by the court. Either situation will likely warrant a modification of the custody and visitation order. The court will again consider increasing vacation time visitation and may even order the custodial parent to  bear the child’s travel costs. [read more…]

Custodial Interference

main article: custodial interference

In some high-conflict cases, one parent may behave in such a manner towards the other that custody, visitation and communication with the child is severely impeded. This frustration of the other parent’s rights may provide adequate grounds for a change in custody. As noted above, the court gives preference to a parenting schedule which allows both parents regular and frequent contact with the child. From the court’s perspective, if one party denies the other those rights, it is ultimately the child who suffers. Therefore, it may be in the child’s best interest to modify the original custody order. [read more…]

Child’s Preference

As children get older, they often offer their own opinion and preference as to which parent they might like to reside. In no state does the court allow the child to choose. The final determination of custody (original or modified) always lies with the court – based on the best interest of the child.

However, most states have rules which establish an age at which the court is required to consider the child’s preferences. In some states, that age is designated specifically. In others, the court must determine if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent opinion.

Effect of Custody Modification on Child Support

In some instances, a modification of custody and visitation will necessitate the modification of the child support order as well. Clearly, if primary physical custody is changed from one parent to the other, the newly-designated custodial parent will now receive child support. If visitation is substantially increased or decreased, that change may require an adjustment to child support as well, depending on the child support calculations of each specific state.


  • xenia loureiro

    my child was taken from me because i didnt respond to my petion on time i was one day late to responding. i set a court date to set aside the default and i was denied. now im filing for a motion to modify that existing order but i dont know if that will give me back custody of my child i need legal advice on what i should do

  • Linda Opella

    I’d like to know if Florida has an established age where the courts are required to consider the child’s preference as to where he/she wants to live?

    • Linda Opella

      well, I see that you never answer,,,,,thanks!

  • jason

    Final Judgment for Divorce was filed Sept. 2007 in Houston Co., GA; have 2 sons ages 5 & 6; joint custody w/mother as primary care giver. Ex-wife has moved to New Orleans, LA and have been unable to talk or have standard visitation. I have lost my job and am unable to pay the $1300.00 per month set out in Decree. How can I get a Modification of Visitation and Child Support filed? Which state would have legal jurisdiction??? Please advise.

    • The state where the children are located would have legal jurisdiction. You can always ask for a court appointed lawyer to help you.

      • Linda

        Unfortunately, the courts do not appoint lawyers in domestic cases.I thought this was only true in Maryland, but I’ve learned that it is all over the country. According to our “justice” system, if you are being accused of a horrible crime, it is your right to legal representation, but if you are a parent trying to fight for what’s best for your children, well they say, it’s not a “right” to be granted legal representation. I learned this after a very long custody battle for my children when my ex had an inheritance and I didn’t have anything so the ex won out.

        • Rachael

          i have a reduced fee lawyer through mvls in maryland and its probono soo there is halp for domestic cases too those who are unable to aford it

    • Anna

      If your order was from your state and it has been less than six months since they moved you can reopen the case the other state only has jurisdiction after six months and she is required to obey all previous orders

  • NIcole

    We use to live in maryland and that is where we were granted joint custody and shared physical custody. The order was not specific and now we are having problems. I no longer live in Maryland and my ex does but lives about two hours from where we filed for divorce. Can we motify the visitation at a family court closer to both of us instead of with the judge that granted the joint custody and physical custody?

  • I currently have physical custody of my child. Her father and I share legal custody. Her father refuses to appear in court. He has not been in the childs like for 4 years (her entire life) and doesnt plan on being there. I am attempting to amend the order to sole custody to me. Because previously he would not appear in court, the judge advised me to either hire a lawyer or private investigator to get him the papers served. Well, the investigator i hired did get him the papers served. Her father states he will still not appear in court… If so, does this mean the judge will go ahead and give me sole custody? Currently visitation is to my discretion & supervised. Her father does drugs as well. If the judge doesnt grant sole custody…what is my next step…to appeal it?

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  • Tammy Erks

    I feel I was wrongly represented in my divorce case. My ex got everything after 22 years of marriage and 4 childrenIn Washington State. He got custody of our 11 years old twin boys and he is gone at work at least 12 hours a day, I on the other hand can’t work right now due to an on the job injury and am collecting 1700.00 a month from L&I and am going through L&i to retrain me to do a different kind of job. I thought washington State was a 50/50 state. My children don’t want to live with their father because he is never home. Help me please get my children home with me.

  • Jack

    I am a single father of a five year old. His mother and I originally filed a parental agreement when he was one, and in it, she was classified as the primary parent, having 53 percent of the overnights and myself having 47 percent. This was due in large part to the career path that I was on at the time, and that it required I be out of town most every week, coming back on weekends. That changed about a year after the agreement was reached, I lost my job due to injury, and ended up having to move over 67 miles away from his mother. I struggled to find reliable employment, and with the economy as it is that hasn’t improved much. However, she and I made a verbal agreement over a year and a half ago that rather than both of us struggling to raise daycare expenses, I take custody of him Mondays thru Fridays and she having time from Friday night to Sunday evenings, or early monday mornings.
    It is still this way now, approaching 2 years now. I have enrolled him in an early childhood development program in the area, and have help with daily care from my parents, with whom he and I have been living with.
    It has come time for enrollment into kindergarten, and suddenly she is demanding that we switch back to the original agreement, and that he attend a public school in her area. I have already enrolled him into a very highly rated charter school in my area, that has much more to offer him as far as corriculum and possibilites go. My question is this; will it be possible for me to approach the courts and request that I take over as primary? Seeing as how it’s been that way anyhow, even though I am still, and have been responsible for child support payments to her each month.

  • jcc67

    well after 18 months of the divorce I have 2 police report that show she left the kids home alone 1 police report when she refused to give me my kids in my parenting day 1 police report said she gave beer to one of my kids(I have 3) her own mother is on my side now after she witness the abuse that she has with my kids,we have joint custody but she does`nt fallow the agreement I have the right to talk to them over the phone when I don`t have them (from 7 to 9 pm) she doesn`t let me talk to them well my list is long I live in chicago but I don`t have the money to go back to court I am looking for a pro bono but is really hard is anybody there willing to help me please I can not wait to turn the custody around

  • Cateea

    I have filed a divorce decree pro se in Virginia and I forgot to include my child’s date of birth on the final decree and the court want me to file a motion to add it. What type of motion do I file? Can someone post an example of one. Thanks

  • Marlynn

    My ex and I have joint custody, but I am the primary caregiver. However, my son lived with his father temporary to finish school. The papers were never modified through the court. Is he still entitiled to pay child support since he never had the papers modified temporary or modified at at???Now that school is out, he refuses to let him come live with me until he approves of where and what I live in.I would also like to know if the orignial papers can be re-modified on my behalf since he stated I got him 185 days a year and he got him 180.My ex traveled a good bit and I would say he got him about 60 days. I kept asking and he always told me he was about to quit and will be able to see him more. That day never came. Thanks for you time 🙂

  • alie

    In Dec 2010, in NY I was granted sole custody of my 3 year old daughter because her biological father never showed up to court, and granted permission to move to FL. I have lived in FL for 9 months and have a very stable life, am married, and also have another child with my husband thats 4 months old. My daughters father still lives in NY and stopped paying his child support of 300 dollars a month a month ago. He has no job, no vehicle and lives with his mother who has drug problems. I was told he was going to try to get visitation on my daughter recently. Which state would he and I have to go through? What are the guidelines for my husband to adopt her? (she only knows him as daddy)Can he file in NY and be granted anything or would he have to go through FL since its been six months?

  • Kathy

    I would like to modify visitation to only weekends or only one night per week ( her father currently has two) I am primary custodial and residentil parent. With so much weekly visitation it does not allow my daughter to participate in after school activities, hard to get her homeworkdone and bathed and fed at a reasonable hour, I have to drive 30 miles away to pick her up when she goes to school 3 miles away from home. In Duval county Florida, what are the chances of a modificaiton like that?

  • Stacy

    My divorce was finalized May of 2011, I was given Physical Custody of my 3 beautiful daughters. Their father lived ( in South Dakota) about an 1hr and 1/2 away until recently he was fired from his job and moved to Florida. My question is this the divorce papers say I have the children during the school year and he has them during the summer. When I go to Florida to pick the children up can he keep the children from me?

    • Chrissy Aldean

      HE moved to Florida so HE should be responsible for transporting the children. Make him buy roundtrip airfare. You have a court order and if he tries to keep the children beyond the set visitation time, he will be in big legal trouble.

  • worried1

    i have a 6 year old autistic son. his father and i have a custody order which states he has him at night and i get him during the day with alternating weekends.this order was put in place 3 years ago when he was in daycare.we have never followed this order my son has always been with me and his siblings.just recently his father decided he does not want to pay child support anymore and is trying to follow the court order. he is late for pickup 98% of the time or either his mother picks him up at conflicting times.i work nights but i am married now and i can see my son to bed and off to school in the morning.At one point in time i was totally alienated from him.Now my son is suffering he is regressing he is scared to go in his room when he stays home, he is urinating on himself and the first time that he was allowed to stay here after his father would not let him stay home for a couple of months he was throwing up.Do i have a good chance at becoming primary caregiver by the courts and how do i prove my case???

  • Maria Feliciano

    I have a question, My husband has custody of his daughter for 6 yrs now on default cause the mother never showed up for court. She has every other weekend. There’s alot of issues I don’t know where to start. Um the mother doesn’t call or go up to school for the child, doesn’t pay child support, the mother is always going out on her visits and leaves with her daughter that’s 21 and smokes marijuana. The woman has 7 kids in total and the child doesn’t have no place to sleep, shares a bed,caught an infection from sharing sister’s underwear that’s menstruating and the child doesn’t menstraute. What can we do to stop these visitations.

  • Laura

    e live in Ohio. My husband’s ex is custodial parent of my two step sons. One is almost 12 years. She says he does not always want to come for weekend visits. They are court ordered in a very specific parenting plan. We have them about 40% of the time. She asks if we will be ok with him not coming if he doesn’t want to, to make him happy. We disagree with it. We don’t believe he is old enough to have this choice OR that staying away from his father is what is best for him. She says that we are “under a misapprehension if (we) think the court expects parents to force their teenagers into unwanted visitation.” But everything I have found, says exactly the opposite. That if the plan says they should be here, they should be here, regardless of if the 12 year old wants to. She says she will call the GAL and that she will talk to my step son, and that they will change the plan. We are a good household. We love the boys. Take good care of them, and do fun things with them. We are more strict than their mom’s house, and that may be annoying to my step son, as he gets older, but there is no actual reason to alter the plan. Would my 12 yo step sons opinion be enough to change plans in OH? (Franklin County) Thanks.

  • Lilith

    My daughter who will be turning 14 here on May 2, was taken from me by her biological father having non-relatives named as Interveners two years ago, the Interveners were given physical joint custody while I was only given legal joint custody. A month and a half after the hearing they moved my daughters father out of their home,but kept my daughter with them and did not notify the court. Only after he died in December 2010 did the Interveners inform the court he died when they attempted to get guardianship of the estate left to her by her father. When they were denied they turned around and filed a protective order against me and was able to keep me away from my daughter for over 170 days even after they dropped it a month after filing because I requested a hearing to submitt evidence that they filed false allegations against me. They only let me see her about six times between the second week in August 2011 through November 6, 2011…they have not let me see her since claiming she is terrified of me. They even put her in counseling where I have been told she wants nothing to do with me because she is terrified of me.So for almost another six months the Interveners have denied me all contact with my daughter again without any order from the court. So Betweem March 2011 through present the Intereveners for my daughters dead father (who are of no relation to her in any way) have denied me 332 day (which still continues through this posting) of all contact with my daughter of whom I am her only surviving biological parent. I want to request that the court modify custody due to the Interveners repeated and willfull denial of all contact with my daughter that the court granted in the joint custody order it issued March 16, 2010. What are my chances for having custody mondified to have my daughter returned to my sole physical and legal custody since the Interveners have repeatedly alienated me so severely from my daughter? (The custody case is held in Noble County Indiana). Please if there is any one who can help me in this matter I would appreciate it. I am afraid that the longer the Interevens are able to continue to alienate me from my daughter that the damage done to my relationship with her will never be able to be repaired and I will never be able to regain full custody of her.

  • Christina

    I filed my divorce pro se in Virginia as well. My assumptions is that you had to file your divorce in circuit court. In order to amend (change) anything in the order filed, a Motion to Amend or Add has to be drawn up by an attorney and then given to the circuit court. Just a heads up: If you have a Property Settlement Aggrement (PSA) incorporated within your Final Divorce Decree which lays out child visitation and custody arrangements/agreements, then the Circuit Court (NOT Juvenile & Domestic Court- as in most cases) have juristiction over the cusody, child support, and visitation. A motion will need to be drawn up by an attorney anytime you are wanting to make changes (unless both parents agree to remand the case and give juristiction to the Juvenile and Domestic Courts). This can be a plus if you and your ex dont get along (as in my situation), and one party tries to change court orders out of spite. With circuit court having juristiction and needing a lawyer for everything you want to change, it is less likely you will be dragged into court all the time for bogus reasons. If you chooses to remand the case to Juvenile and Domestic, yes it makes it easier to make changes and it is free of charge to do so (no attorney fees)…but it makes it easier for the other party as well (just some extra info..I had to learn the hard way).

  • Sbooth

    do i have to repay child support if the court order hasn’t been modified but we are in the process of doing it.

  • Joy

    I’m going to court as of Friday June 1st. to change custody. My son’s father and I have shared custody now, but im looking to change it to sole on my part. I have tempoary custody now since last week from a emergency hearing in which DYFS is investagating the father. My question is, I would like “endangering the welfare of a child” charges pressed against the father for admitting to DYFS he has been exposing my son to drugs while in the custody of his father. How do I go about this?

  • Cindy

    My ex husband who resides in FL advised me nearly a year ago (when he had custoday for school purposes) that he could no longer care for our children and gave them back to me. I obtained court ordered custody and am now the custodial parent of my daughters. My attorney did not give my ex husband any type of visitation as he showed no interest in having any. Now he wants to see my daughters and their is no official visitation schedule on file with the courts. I feel I am impeeding their relationship if I keep the girls from seeing their dad, but do not want him to try and keep my children since he is all of a sudden interested in them again. It has been an emotional rolocoaster for all of us… Need advice on if my custody order is sufficient documentation to ensure the safe return of my daughters.

  • steph

    my mother inlaw took us for visitation she was granted 2 hrs every 2 weeks supervised visit within parents discretion.. th word DISCRETION confuses me in this order. does this mean I have to give her mandatory visits or does it mean my boyfrien and I can choice to give it to her or not? ( him and I share joint legal custody.. please help!! )I don’t want this women around my child she’s psychotic. And please respond accordingly and not with what I want to hear lol

    • William

      this means you can decide the day of the week and when those 2 hours are going to be.

  • Renee

    A friend of mine has a 13 year old son who lives with his mother and stepdad. There is no legal custody order however there is a legal child support order in place.
    The 13 year does not want to go back home to his mothers. He wants to move in with his father because his mom and stepdad argue all the time. The stepdad argues with him all the time. The house is not a clean to the point his real father when he picks him up isnt even allowed in house. The son has expressed to his mother why he wants to move in with father but the Mom is say NO….
    Can the child stay with his father and petition the court to keep him or will the police make the son move back home????

    • Chris Tuttle

      I’m curious to the advice or answers u got cuz I’m dealing with a very similar situation??

  • William

    I am trying to modify custody order because of abuse allegations, missing a lot of school, and not having any kind of social life outside of school. I have already put in the petition in illinois, and the mother has not yet responded, How do I go about asking the courts to find her in default? Also, how do I go about filing a motion for temporary custody until the case is over? Please help me get my daughter out of a bad situation. Also my daughter just informed me today up until last year her mother would lock her inside her bedroom. So if you know the answers please help me as soon as possible, I have court on monday.

  • angi

    Jack, Im assuming that you made a verbal agreement for you to take your child during the week due to the fact that you were not working and she was and somebody had to pay for the childcare expenses. I think it is very manipulative of you to now try and take primary custody. From what you shared, this plan for the last two years was something you agreed to, and possibly even developed it. I dont know what your final outcome with the courts were, but I sure hope that someone saw through you manipulitave ways.

  • Denise

    My ex-husband and his wife have custody of our now 5 yr old daughter. They live in virginia and I in NY. They obtained custody three yrs ago by saying they did not know my where abouts. I have a job and my own apartment. Would it be hard for me to petition the courts so I could get custody of her.

  • Penny Havice

    My Grandson CJ at 18 months old was taken from his Mother 50% of the time to live every other week with his Father. He is picked up at
    7 p.m. on Fridays and my Daughter cannot see him until 7 p.m. the following Friday. The Father had not ever contributed to his care or paid for anything. The Father is a Firefighter and works 72 hour shifts, while he works, CJ has to stay with his other Grandmother and sleep at her house.

    My Daughter tried to get a modification so that she could have first right of refusal, then CJ could come home with her when his Father was at work. This modifications was denied. She is a great Mother with a good steady job and provides a great home for him!

    My Grandson is now nearly four years old. He cries when his week with my Daughter is over and begs her “Why do I have to go, why can’t I just sleep in my own bed” His Father rarely even picks him up, its always the Grandmother.

    My question is why can’t this be modified as it is not in the best interests of this child…..The Florida courrt sytem stinks!

  • Amanda

    PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!! My husband and his ex wife had joint legal custody of there now 6 yr old daughter. His ex wife works normally from 2pm to 1 am. My step daughter is in school while the mother is at home and when she gets out of school the mother is at work therefore she has to stay with a babysitter and hardly ever sees her mother. We get my sd every weekend. We pick her up fri from school and don’t bring her home til 6 sun. The mother always has different men around my sd. We was content for awhile as she had the same man around and now has a 1 yr old with him. As of jan 2012 she kicked him out for another man. They got physical in front of my sd. Hitting and slamming each other into walls. Two day after she kicked him out she moved the new boyfriend in. Well now as of last week the new bf decided he didn’t want to take care of 2 children that was not his. So the very next day she moved the other baby daddy back in. There not together as my sd said he sleep in her bed while she has to sleep on a pallet on the floor. We had my sd this past wknd and she begged us not to bring her home. She said she don’t like her on again off again step father. And she want to live with us, And he is now the babysitter for when my sd gets off the bus. Oh one other thing school has only been in since aug. 8th and as of sept. 21st my step daughter has been tardy to school 7 times. She told us that she gets herself up in the morning gets dressed, makes her own breakfast and lunch then goes and wakes up her mom to bring her to school….. Is this grounds to modify the custody to where my step daughter can live with us.

  • Monique

    My parental rights were terminated and my attorney filed Appeal right after which was later denied and I was never in formed of a deadline to refile so since my children are not adopted where can I start?

  • mary

    mygirl friend is disabeled. she currently has a conservator, if we get married will i become the corservator?

  • Mia

    WOW….its not to often you see theis coming from a man. Having joint custody is the problem..( my problem too). Im pretty sure you will have to modify the child support/custody order, and if she doesn’t agree then they will send u both to mediation or guardian at litem…its a long process. I would also chick into pro bono attorneys….i know a little bit about this because i am kind of goin thru it now and read a lot of information…it also depends on who has primanry/physical placement….whose the custodial & non-custodial parent, where u live all of that….if you want you can email me n i can check it thry my phone..on internet now n my comp is broken but i can still read n reply to emails. Hope something works out for you!!

  • Mjd

    contact 211 or your legal aid in your state. They have probono lawyers. I’m an advocate. If you need any other help contact me at

  • Fathers rights wa

    We are parents going through parental alienation , and many other custody issues in washington state . If you need resources , or to share your story please visit us on facebook and let’s try to educate one another .

  • Judie

    Hi! Ive been divorced for about ten years now the kids live there full time and every other weekend with me there was never any child support and he has primary . Anyhow now he’s threatening to take me to court cause I Wont help with school lunches! he says his expenses are food clothes utilities insurance. They live there full time why is that my expense? Anyway last year I got married I wanted to put kids on tricare insurance he said no! I mentioned last year I won’t be working so going forward I’ll only pay half medical expenses ( per custody). Now he’s threatening me ! What do I do? Can I lose custody and have to pay child support after all this time!?

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    Hello, I have a question. I was living in Iowa with my children and my ex husband took me to court in South Carolina where he still resides and our Final Divorce took place. The children and I had been living out of the State of South Carolina for 7 months. This led to a Jurisdictional dispute between Iowa and South Carolina, to see which State will actually hold Jurisdiction on the case. However because South Carolina held Jurisdiction on me even though I had already been living out of State 7 months a court order was written up which placed the children from me having full custody to my ex and me sharing joint custody and children placed into his home. However we were court ordered to pay the Guardian-Ad-Litem and have a psychological evaluation, both of us failed to comply to that within the time frame. Now I have had my psychological evaluation done and am attempting to make payments to the Guardian-Ad-Litem. However because we did not comply with the court order in the time frame the Judge ordered does that make the South Carolina Court Order no good. And will that then place Jurisdiction over to Iowa court system. Also if I moved back to Iowa with my children would I be reprimanded.

  • Natalie

    I live in Missouri and I have a 5-year-old daughter. Her biological father and I got divorced when she was 9 months old. He only sees her once a month, and has done this from day one. He has only held down a job recently and that’s been for about 6 months. He has had 2 other children with 2 other women since our divorce, one conceived while we were still married. I don’t even know his address because he doesn’t have a ho elf his own that he rents or owns, and he “couch surfs” with whoever will allow him to live with them rent free until they get sick of it and kick him out. He’s been arrest more than once for drinking & driving. He owes more than $15,000 in back child support and still doesn’t pay the full amount. And my daughter has told me that when she goes for visitation she has to go to a babysitter most of the time and she has to sleep in a chair. I have since remarried, and my current husband is stable, has been at the same job for 7 years, takes on the daily duties of being a father to my daughter, and she calls him daddy. My husband and I own our house outright. We attend church on a regular basis and my daughter looks forward to this every week. I have recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and I want to make arrangements in case I don’t survive the surgery or if the tumor comes back. What can I do to ensure my husband gets custody of my daughter, and not my ex?

  • Marnetta

    Two minor kids 10yrs old and 12yrs old. Father is custodial parent and has been for 8yrs. Kids have expressed to me on different occasions that they wanted to live with me. I petitioned court to modify shared parenting agreement so that I would be custodial parent and to stop the child support order. Looking for legal advice and possible pro bono lawyer for case. I’ve already contacted Legal Aid Society of Ohio and they aren’t taking any new cases such as mine.

    • mdp

      I will tell you that I have been going threw Ohio Courts for 7 years now and I think that this state makes up their own laws as it gos. My ex had 7 drug charges and with in the last year we found out that his nephew had been making my exs kids have sex with him.Out of the 7 drug charges he got only a misdaminor and mind you 3 were felony’s.His nephew got a smack on the hand cause they said we didnt have enough evidence to prove the case.I said what do you need pictures?Three of the 5 children have came forward and they say they dont have enough.My ex has 7 dependent abuse charges and 1 abuse charge and guess who has my children to this day?Him..Tell me that Ohio aint screwed up.All children would have been removed by now with all of this.

      All I got to say is get in the the yellow pages and call every attorney in the phone book an ask them if they can take your case.That is what I had to do and I got one of the best attorney’s.Trust me dont give up and keep your head up cause if you dont you will let Ohio and your ex win. Im becoming a Private investigator rt now. I am in my third month of Bounty Hunting also.I stand up for any wrong doings in the court system…Good Luck and God Bless.

  • elizabirth

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    My ex husband and I got a divorce three years ago with four boys under 18, now their are only two under 18. We had joint custody with me being primary care giver. No child support!!! It has been over a year since he has seen the boys and refuses to help pay for anything. I have paid for all clothes food, graduation ( that was not cheap) and any expensenses along the way. He is suppose to get the boys every wendesday and every weekend, and half summer breaks. My problem is he does nothing but threaten me if I take him to court he will take my boys away cause he has money and he can do that!! He keeps me scafred about losing my boys so as a scare tactic I dnt ask him for anything. I provide the best I can. I dont have much money and cant afford a lawyer how can I make him pay and get full custody without him trying to take them away!!!

  • Lynn

    My son is about to turn 12 and we live in Washington State. His father has now decided that he wants primary or joint custody. I have had custody of our son his whole life. We had orginally had a parenting plan established and that worked for a long time. After I married someone else and my husband was transferred to Florida we went to court to get permission to move my son and get a modification of the parenting plan. The court approved everything and we moved. I’m now divorced after being in Florida 2 1/2 years and moved myself and children home. My son has a half brother that also lives with us that he has lived with his entire life. I’ve always worked and only collected unemployment maybe 4 month tops my whole life, I rent a nice home have two vehicles that run well and make sure that my children are fed, clothed and do their homework. My sons father is by no means a bad father but he is very materialistic and has a very different parenting approach than I do. Our son has ADHD and mild OCD so really needs a very stable and consistent environment. His father also works 7 am to 6 or 7 at night 5 days a week and is laid off EVERY winter season as he is a farm worker. He has never finished his GED or HS diploma either. I’m currently taking classes to attain a specialized certificate to further my full time permanent employment. Would the court be inclined to give him full custody or joint after this has been decided twice already? Does Washington State allow children to decide which parent to live with??? Please respond asap he will be serving me any day.

  • Lisa

    My sons biological mother signed over all custody with responsible visitation when requested, 10 years later her and her parents are trying to re-gain some of this back. I live in California, and I could really use some advice on how possible this is. She has never paid child support and is not involved in his life. Thanks in advance..

    • batmmannn

      She can request modification at any time due to substantial change in circumstances. Be aware that the Courts will likely screw you because they are far preferential to Mothers.

  • Confused

    My daughter has reconnected with me after 6 years that my ex-wife kept her away from me (granted i was a drug user at the time but have been clean for 5.5 years) I have since moved to Rhode Island and they live in California. She has told me time and time again that she wants to live with me. She is coming out to visit (although she told her mother that she wants to make this permanent). Can either she go through family court here in RI and ask the judge to stay here with me or can i go to court here in RI and ask for custody? Really needing help.

    • Confused

      By the way shes 15 almost 16

      • batmmannn

        She can choose where she wants to live at this age. You must file for a Modification and request her testimony taken.

  • Nonya

    Question: Mom and dad get an original order in “County A” in MO. Dad lives several hours away….Mom and dad now agree that DAD shall have residential custody of the kids with visitation and child support to mom. It is no longer convenient for dad to drive the 3 hours for court, and mom has moved out of state. Can dad file a motion to modify in the county he now resides since that is also where the kids reside and the jurisdiction automatically changes OR should he file with the original court to request a change in jurisdiction since the kids, him or mom still live in the original County.

  • Nonya

    I’m sorry, him, mom and the kids NO LONGER still live in the original county (mom originaly had custody)

  • b harris

    In my divorce decree I have to pay child support, out of pocket medical and dental and all of three kids college. As I found out later my ex aunt worked for the judge. And her lawyer and the judge also shared and office which the Aunt worked in. My lawyer wrote up the divorce decree in which
    He never gave me time to read it. He said it all standard. My question can I have it modified or canine get it changed where its more even in the responsibility.

  • Marty white

    Hello my name is Marty and I have a friend who has 50% custody of his children but the mothe doesnt let him see the kids nor does she allow them to come over his place the other day she finally decided to let one of come over and she now wants to call the cops and wants the kid home asap she calims shes gonna report the child got kidnapped by his dad….any advice would really help email me thank you I stay in california

    • Tell the dad to get his custody order ready and have it in hand when the cops show up. If he has physical custody of his children and it is his time to have them, and he has the custody order from the court to prove it, then the cops will not take the children.

      • batmmannn

        He should file a contempt charge against the mother and subpoena the Police officer to appear in Court though it has been my experience that the Courts do little to Mothers regardless of their actions.

  • Bree

    I went to court about 2 years ago my son’s father had nothing to do with him for over a year when he was one we went to court and the judge set the visitation as 2-2-3 Mon. Wed. Fri. At first it was’t bad just a little whining here and there.. now he is saying he doesn’t want to go, he’s acting out, and when he see’s his dad out he cries because he thinks he has to go, It feels like the crying gets worse and worse. last time i went to court his father wanted week on and week off, which i disagreed with because he tells me he doesn’t want to go. The judge left the schedule 2-2-3. Now The father wants to modify the visits because the baby will be starting school next year, my question is what would i do to make sure he stays with me through the week? I just know if the schedule stays 2-2-3 that he will not do well in school because of the different people teaching him and he can barely handle staying two days how could he handle five… i appreciate your advice… god bless

    • batmmannn

      The Court will likely not allow the Father not to see his child during the week. All experts agree that alienation of a child from it’s parent when no abuse nor neglect has been proven is against the best interests of the child. The child can not decide it’s own custody allocation by whining and crying.

      • molly

        ^are you an expert? That is not your child, you have no idea how they act or who the are. And yes the child can decide, if they do not want to go it is just torture for them to go!

        • batmmannn

          It’s up to the Judge and it can be challenged. The Courts have no right to alienate any child from a parent unless there is proven cases of abuse and reported as such by official agencies nor can they act based on a single recommendation of a case worker. Learn the law.Chilkdren can not decide and should not be allowed to decide till they are old enough.

  • Texas left

    My ex husband has just informed he is taking me back to court to request split custody in Texas. I moved to Hawaii in July, and my ex will be stationed here in February. He is in the military as well as my husband, therefore we will not always live in the same state. Our children are 2, and 4, and I’ve taken care of them their whole life, being a stay at home mother, and me ex being gone for 2 months, then a 13- month deployment. I am currently a stay at home mother with a very small part time job. I am not comfortable sharing split custody w my ex be it his temper, his marrying a woman he had an affair with that our children barely know, and also that he will not always live nearby, and that he’s have to bring them to me when he works anyway. He has always been emotionally abusive, and controlling with me. Can he in fact get split custody. Per now he will have the standard visitation per Texas. I have told him if he asks me to have them on occasion for one more night a week I will probably say yes unless they’re ill. He also wants them spending the night. They’ve never spent that much time with him without me. My mother says he’s only trying to emotionally control me again, but I just want to verify he can’t get split custody? My children will not understand and be affected as will I. Please reply…

    • batmmannn

      He is their Father, to deny him time with his children in unacceptable. The Court will force you to comply as well the should. Denying your children from their Father will in essence damage your children. Unl;ess you can prove him unfit he will have his time with his kids.

      • Molly

        ^just because he is the father doesn’t mean he has been acting like a father!

        • batmmannn

          Doesn’t sound to me like you are allowing him to act like a Father.

      • samantha

        What do you think unfit means?

        • Dangoman

          what does knowing what unfit mean have to do with proving unfit?

  • sara

    i live in Ohio and my husband is an admitted alcoholic. He requested shared parenting and the court issued a guardian ad litem and mandatory alcohol screening. He failed to screenings and the Gaurdian ad litem is modifying visitation of my husband with our 3 young children. Should I still file a Motion to modify visitation with the court. I feel I should.

    • batmmannn

      It sounds like your Modification is already underway. That is the reason a Guardian Ad Litem was ordered.

  • batmmannn

    I have been ambushed by a Guardian ad litem and improper Judge and I am filing an appeal concerning broken rules, improper procedure, improper notifications, etc. I need to know once my appeal is filed does the new custody order go in effect or does the old one stay in effect? I am doing the work myself and studying the law. I can not afford an attorney I am fighting for my child. Thanks

    • batmmannn

      I found the answer to my own question I am filing a request for Stay of Judgement until all appeals are exhausted.

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  • Rose

    Ok so my fiancé’s has a parenting plan that was established and determined by Washington state. He has since transferred from there (his home state) on military orders. His ex wife took the kids to Montana and has now served him with papers wanting Montana to take jurisdiction over the Parenting Plan. She has already began turning the kids against him and she is in violation of the current parenting plan and we are planning to file contempt once the lawyer calls us back. The catch is she moved to Montana 6 months ago and under the UCCJEA that is their now “home state.” Does that mean that they can just make up a new parenting plan completely throwing out the Washington plan? Does Washington retain jurisdiction until Montana picks it up? I cannot see there being a lapse in jurisdiction but if we file for contempt is it in Washington for the Washington parenting plan or what do we do? She has been planning this from day one and had him served 6 months nearly to the day after she left state. She is so nasty to him calling him names, using profanity, and tells the kids lies! She is also refusing to pay for her 1/2 of the plane tickets for Christmas because she didn’t have the money and is there for refusing to send them. My fiancé even tried working with her and gave her 8 month notice that he wanted the kids for Christmas! She still refuses and is now trying to have Montana pick it up. We are terrified that Montana is going to completely change the parenting plan and not even give him any sort of rights to his kids. She has been found guilty of contempt for the nearly identical thing twice before in Washington and we know she is trying to change it to Montana so it is more convent for her to try and modify things without him knowing or being able to do anything about. Someone please help. She is alienating the kids and turning them against their dad for no reason. He cannot even afford a lawyer because he is still working to pay down the 10K bill he has from the first two contempts and her trying to file erroneous charges against him (which she was found guilty or perjury). Please please please someone help!!!

  • Trish

    My husbands daughter had her third child a year ago the first two were taken away from her because she was unfit to care for them, now she is about to have the third one taken away. She and the baby live in Louisana and we the grandparents live in Mississippi. Right now the baby is living with the mother’s aunt and uncle and the grandmother, whom will not allow us to see the child. The mother’s mom is unable to care to the child alone so the aunt and stepped in to take custody of the child. What rights do we have as grandparents in another state? We are willing to take custody of child to make sure she is well taken care of and out to the drug world she is now living in. I just need to understand our rights. Thanks

  • adrian

    Ok, so I won my court case that had do deal with. MY daughters mother moved to rochester new york but with out any consent and I didnt know where she nlr my daughter was for a month plus. So anyway I won the final judgment that my daughter had to be returned to florida cause she was born there. So after 3 months of her moving back I felt bad for my daughters mom cause she couldnt find a job so we made a written agreement to allow her to move back to rochester with my daughter and I will follow shortly. I have kept my part of the agreement and she hasnt. For instance, im suppose to have my daughter 50% of the time and ive been here in rochester for a month and ive recieved maybe 15% of that time. I am staying with my daughters moms sister who doesnt allow my daughter her own niece to spend night so now they are making it very difficult for me to see my daughter. Can the judge reverse the agreeme t her mother and I had and go back to the final judgement agreement? Please help me, im in a state where I dont know anyone, nor found work, and havent seen my daughter as much as I would like to.

  • Tom

    My daughters mother and I have been broken up for 9 years (never married, my daughter is 11). The mother has never been involved, doesn’t visit, doesn’t call, doesn’t write). Her parents have been involved and my daughter lived with them from the time she was 2 until 4. She has lived with me ever since. I was granted physical custody and the mother and I have joint custody but the grandparents ta have every other weekend visitation, I want to lessen their time and also want to remove the birth mother from custody. How do I do this?

  • overprotective stepparent

    On Monday my husband has court to keep sole custody of my stepson. He got custody 2 years ago due to Mothers neglict due to drug use. She went to jail and rehab to clean up her act. At first it was going to be joint custody now she is wanting him to live with her again. My husband has been nothing but fair when shw wanted him. Gets him just about every weekend. It was up to himdue to the sole custody. I think hes been nothing but fair. When he goes to court should he take a lawyer and and the paper work from court where he has sole custody? Thanks in advance.

    • Lauren Nielsen

      Did u get answers on this we are dealing with the same type of issue now any help would be appreciated! Thanks oh and we’ve had sole custody of my Stepson for 5 years now

  • curious

    My ex lives with his girlfriend. Currently theres 7 (2adults) living in a 3 bedroom home. There expecting twins making that 9 people. Would this be a change of circumstance? Could i bbring it up in court to have custody of my daughter modified?

  • jen

    Can someone please help me please. I am divorced from my ex. We have a child togethershe is 8 years old my axe very verbally and emotionally abusive towards her at times he has also been physically abuse of towards her. he is constantly coming in and out of her life time to go two years 8 months without seeing her this past time he has gone off total of one year without seeing her calling her texting her or have any kind of contact at allwhen he used to see her he would only stay for anywhere from 15 minutes 2 half an hour which was his choicewhen he did come to visit her he would always make fun of her or teaser or call her names. he’s always threatening to kill himself and he’s always made threats to kill her dog bc she showed more attention to the dog then him. He used to always have loaded gun laying around and he woild line up extra bullets on the table . After we were seperated he still wojld follow me to my work the store or my house. Anyways it been a year since any contact from him…then outta the blue he texts me saying he is going to tske our child every weekened bc he found out that im in a new relationship and just had another child…hes mad about it. So I try to get a order of protection but they denied it saying he had to physically touch me or the child…so I tried for a modification of visitation bc as it is we had a open visitation which we agreed if he wanted to visit her then he would let me know when and what time and then come over my house bc she is afraid of him from what she has vitnessed and heard and she feels most comfortable in her own home. After I filed it someone told me I should get a attorney first so I tried to withdrawl it til I spoke to a laywer on how was the best wayy to protect my child but it was denied and now I got a letter stating that I have a court date and that the judge ordered my child to have her own litigated attorney. What do I do? What can I or should I do now.? What is going to happen now bc im scared and I do t have a attorney. Soneone please tell what happens next what happens now or what should I or can I expect??????????

  • tc

    I lost my custody case because Imissed court, can I refile my paperwork again? If so how soon after the jjudgement can i refile?

  • Kathy Lee

    My soon to be ex husband and I are going through a divorce. I took our three kids under the ages of 4years old at that time with me. He was emotionally abusive towards me and that night when I took off he threatened to kill me and call up his so call gangster wannabe friends to come after me and kill me while my three little kids are in the car. He never psychically abuse me, well he pushed me once against the wall, and he raped me several times when I didn’t give him sex. He was also emotionally abusive towards our kids too. Always putting them in time out in the dark room. Sometimes when the kids take their bath and they are a little loud from playing in there, he tells them to shut up and that if they dont he is going to turn off the light and close the door on them so that the monster can eat them. And other stuff. My kids were so terrified always yelling and screaming for my help and i will always go get them. Then my ex would get mad and emotionally abuse me again.

    Well when i moved out of county away from him the state county filed for child support for me against him since I went to go apply for welfare. I felt so bad so I allowed him to have visitation while I am the sole, legal, and physical custody of the kids. He barely come see the kids or come for their birthday, let alone buy them birthday gift or xmas gifts. Im moving to another county soon again and i ask him for a little money to help me tow the car he bought under his name, but i cosign, with me when i move since its dead and its still on lease he said no, so i ask him again but he emotionally abuse me again saying hurtful words to me so I couldn’t stand it cause it hurts and said some hurtful words back to him. Then he goes and say he wants to take the kids for the weekend when i specifically told him he cant cause im moving this weekend and he goes and emotionally abuse me again. I want to know, is it too late to restrict him when I move so he can’t come see the kids anymore and know where we live?

    Its so painful to remember these stuff as I’m got hospitalized from it for 7 days not too long ago through a lot of pain in my head, which the doctor don’t know what’s causing it. I know its my fault I didn’t tell the doctor but it hurt so much and I felt so low and guilty I didn’t want to tell. Now I’m on some pain medication to alleviate the pain every night. But I can’t stand it anymore that he keeps doing this to me and I don’t know what he does to my kids when he takes them for a visit. I’m always so worry. Please help me. I feel so alone. Sorry if you guys have to read my long story. I’m so sorry but please help. Thank you guys so much in advance.

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  • Shannon

    I have 2 boys ages (6 & 9). My boys are at the age that they are getting into baseball and scouts. My ex husband refuses to take them to their events if it falls on his time. He said that he didn’t agree to letting the boys do the eventsso they should not be alowed to participate in events on “his time:” I always allow my ex the opportunity to take the boys to their events and he refuses. I send the boys as soon as they are done with their event. My ex claims that I am in contempt of court for taking his time, however I see it as he is giving up his time because he will not take them to the event. How will the courts see this? I see it as a parental responsibility to get them to their event and he refuses. My ex is the one that moved out of state (50 miles away) and does not have joint custody due to child abuse charges against him. Who is wrong? Thank you in advance for your comments and advice.



  • Becca

    Hello so my question is can I modify custody order due to my 2 year old daughter suffering from extreme detachment anxiety from me. I mean I never seen her get like this. I was currently goingthrough soeme hardships and me and herdad agreed to have the kids move with him til I get back on my feet. I ended getting married after he accused me of drugs being unfit etc. I tested and negative but before that he came to an agreement with me I would have them every wknd but my daughter is super attached to me my son is ok with this schedule but my daughter gets so upset today she started to dry heeve and I mean she wouldnt stop screaming I went back to calm her down my ex closed door on me with her hysterical. Im now have my own place with my husband but struggling financially still. But I believe mydaughter needs me and is too young to be away from her mother. what cani do


    My husband and his baby mon went to custody court in alabam and came to an agreement they lawyer was suppose to aend the papeework to his lawyer but he received a letter for a final hearing. We thought it was over qhat could this final hearing be about if we already came to an agreement?

  • Concerned

    My wife’s ex husband wants full custody of their child to get SS benefits in full for him. Both my wife and her ex are disabled. He lied on the modification document about the child living with him the majority of the time. They share his time equally. Is this perjury? Thank you.

  • kelli moore

    Hi My name is Kelli and I have had temporary custody of my grandson for 14 months and he is 4 years. His mother had supervised visits until there was a court date that I was unaware of until I got a tx saying to have Jordan ready by 5 pm she had just got full custody. I was so upset for several reasons one for the fact of her threatening to murder her son, secondly that 90% of his life he has been with me and that he isn’t be cared for as a child should be. so I want to no what can I do? How can a hearing be held without my knowledge and for another her supervised visits turn into full custody when she hasn’t finish everything she was court ordered to do?

  • Concerned Step-Mother

    My question is… Can a father be served child support papers by police for an annual review in the state of Iowa?

  • crystal

    I have a question i divorced seven years ago my ex was awarded primary custody. in the last year she has lost job house being forclosed i have recieved phone calls from the school about abuse in the home my children are coming to visits not wanting to return home. what steps do i need to take to go for primary custody, lawyer? mediation?

  • Greeneyez

    Child support
    Me and my husband has been separated since June. I recently moved to CT and he stood in Philadelphia. We both filed for child custody but dnt have a court date yet. I took my son with me to CT. I filed for child support And they have down that our son lives with me in CT and that his father needs to give me money. But I was told I couldn’t move to CT with the child without filing for relocation which I am doing this wk. so I’m planning on having the child live with his father until I get permission to have our son move with me. Besides that me and the father will verbally have 2 wks with the child until I get permission from the court. I’m already getting child support but since the child is now living with the father until I get permission from the court how will child support change?

  • dianna

    My brother just got a divorce in ohio. He was granted full custody of his son. He has a protection order against him out of colorado. How does he go pick up his son without getting into trouble? And if she refuses to turn him over what is the next step? He is afraid she will disappear with the child.

  • Lari

    I’m in Tx my sons father will not give him back he was awarded to pay child support and visitation and he took him for a visit and didn’t bring him back what can I do

  • amber

    I have a question in the state of ct when a mother is granted sole custody does she have to still let father know where the kids are in 48 hours?

  • alejandro

    my court order says that my visitation is to be the 1st,3rd and 5th weekend of every month. i also have joint custody of my 3 kids. today my son wanted to go out to lunch with me but the school did not allowed me to do so because my visitation order. since there is nothing saying that i cant take him to lunch during the week is there anything i could do to have the school district allow me to take him to lunch during lunch hours?

  • sad

    I have gaurdainshid of three kids investigator said kids will stay with me great aunt but what will the judge say

  • Christine

    I am about to join the military and have a three year old daughter. I just learned of the new law passed that says to join i have to give up custody of my daughter to her father before I can sign papers. What can i do to ensure that when I return I get that custody back?

  • michelle

    I need help. My daughter denied the non custodial parent visitation. There are several factors. One the original court order is not specific and she had another hearing coming to get confirmation. He was an hour late for pick up, there was inclement weather in the area. They are trying to have her arrested. To top it all off, his address is not what he gave her, therefore she feels her child is in danger. What are her rights???

  • Theresa

    Can someone pleas help me in Virginia beach Virginia?? My daughter fell on hard times, and has joint custody with a (then) friend of the family. She pays child support to them. They moved to Texas and took the children with them 2 years ago. I, The grandmother have been the only one who has been able to see them, call them etc., until they decided they wanted to adopt, so they have blocked my number, tried keeping the childrens birthday gifts from me away from them, and have brainwashed the children to believe that we are just horrible people. My mother (the great grandmother) who has early stage alzheimers, is begging to see them, but we have been shunned. I cannot afford an attorney to fight this as I work for a non profit, and my daughter has been so beaten down, and intimidated by these people that she doesn’t have the fight in her that I do. The children have demanded me be there for the past two years, and I made three trips to see them for weeks at a time. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP. We have a visitation order in for Dec 2nd, and the other couple has put in for sole custody. They also just inherited $4 million dollars, and said they will use every penny until the children are theirs. Theresa 757-679-9820

  • Amanda filgo

    Is an appeal worth it….Please help us…My daughter and ex boy friend were not together in pregnancy and a Judge just ruled that the best care for baby is joint custody.fifty fifty how can this be the best situation for a 6 month old baby not to see his mommy all week..His mom has the baby while he works and my daughter is ho,e in the day.he goes to the gym for hours at night and guess who has the baby his mom..This is our first wee k this week and it feels like our hearts have been ripped out.We got to see him yesterday and he is always so happy and he looked depressed..this was not the right decision..any body help us?

  • falon

    My ex is taking me back to court for the second time. We havent went since he married his new wife. We have had joint custody for 6 years week here week there. And live ten minutes apart. I am recently married but have been together for over five years. We had a bad time and I was seeing someone else for a bit and knew him for 15 years. I took kids around him. Now my ex is taking me back bc I took kids around someone else. Saying it mentally and emotionally effected them. But yet im the one that takes kids to doc does everything and my son wants to live with me. The kids are 8 and 10. They brain wash my daughter to live there. Will a judge take kids away bc of what I did? Even tho I know.its all his wife doing this.

  • anonymouso

    My daughter is in the full pcustody of her father. She is 9. I had full custody until she was 6. We are at a point where. He realizes kid am going to file for custody again- at least joint. She has always had my last name. We were never married. Now suddenly he wants to give her his last name. If I allow her name to be changed, will it hurt my custody chances?_

  • jesse

    my ex is a drunk and my daughter wants to live with is it true she can decide at 13 in florida my daughter tells me all the time how bad her mom is and how bad she wants to live with me

  • Frustrated

    Can anyone tell me if I can file a petition with the Family Court Judge to modify the final court decision while I am waiting for the appeals process to begin? In other words … I am not happy with the final decision (obviously, that’s why I appealed) but I want changes to the final order to be made immediately. Since it takes time for the appeals process, can I file a modification of custody to the family court judge?

    • S.R.

      You can file a supplemental petition to modify the parenting plan/visitation order, but only if a substantial change has occurred since the original plan was put into place.

  • Amanda Sylvester Jackson

    My husband has joint custody of my 15 year old stepson with primary physical custody. His exwife has filed a petition to modify custody. My husband has let my stepson go and live with his mom three different times. Two of the times his grades went from being no lower than a b average to failing and his ex wife has called wanting us to come get him because she couldn’t handle him and or she was gonna get in trouble for him missing to much school. The other time she had went to jail for maintain a common nuisance. Before my husband and I were married she had her was of keeping my husband at her beck and call and I sat back and didn’t say a word she ran how things were done in our home and how things were gonna be done if I liked it or not. Now that we are married I don’t stay out of husband and I are strickt when it comes to our children’s education. When my husband and I got my stepson back the second week in February he was making all f,s in school with no more than a 20% or less in each class. All his privileges were removed and he was told that with each grade he brought up he would get back a privilege. He was home less than a month and had brought up all but three of the f,s. His mother got mad because we got him to bring his grades up and she began to go against everything she , my husband and myself had talked about and agreed on. And to get a custody case filed she has stated that I not my husband has abused him every way but sexuail. And has went as far as saying the we do drugs. What does my husband need to do to keep his son from going back to her care and for him to get his education? What she is trying to do is selfish and not fair to my stepson. Please help.

  • raia

    My husband has a 2yr old son that he gets to visit only in neutral facilities and only when the mom decides that she would let them two see each other.
    I am expecting my first child and want my husband’s son to meet his little brother when he is finally born. Is there a way we can ask for special visitation? Or are we in the mercy of my husband’s ex?

  • cyndi

    my ex husband currently has residential custody of my three children. and every weekend that i go to pick them up they never want to go back and his house is a complete mess. he sends my children in old clothes that are usually too small. he wont take them to the dr. even though i carry health insurance on them i have to take them. and my children talk about how he screams at his new girlfriend. would the court most likely grant a change of custody so i could have residential custody??

  • Monica S.

    I am looking for some help here. My ex husband has never held up his parenting time stated in our divorce decree (every other weekend) and usually only attempts to see her once every 6 weeks at best. Now on top of that he is refusing to pay his portion of her routine medical expenses after his insurance dropped her primary clinic without notice ending in a bill that was almost $1000. What are my rights here as her primary parent?

  • Heather

    My husband has a custody order for his daughter with his ex wife in texas for 8 years and we lived on the east coast for more then half of those years and he would only be able to see her one to two times a year because of his job. His ex will always fight and force him to change his requested visitation and he has even been denied a visitation one time last year. Now we are back with in a 100 miles so we are able to see his daughter 1st 3rd and 5th weekend but his ex is forcing us to accept her being late to pick ups for visitation. She says it’s for work but last time we heard she wasn’t working. She also will not let us know who her babysitter is either. Is she allowed to keep that information from him and how long should we wait at the pick up for her?

  • Rita Bradley Rutherford-Hartma

    I have grandparent rights already. I have 2 grandsons age 11 & 12. My son signed his parental rights away when they were 4 & 5. It was a very emotional trying time. I have been a very strong influence in their life from day one. Their life away from my house is not the best but they have a blended family that consists of a stepfather his daughter then a son that my ex daughter n law had together. My oldest grandson is autistic, he is treated so much different than the other children. He is openly afraid of his stepfather. His clothes & shoes are not as nice as the other children. It just breaks my heart. I buy them both new things for my house but when I send things home with them I never see them again. I would love to raise both of them but especially the older one because of him being autistic. I truly worry about him. What are my chances if I would try to get him ?

  • Joshua watts

    Someone help-

    My x wife and I set a parenting plan when we divorced. Two years after I moved 3 hours away. After moving we have followed a different parenting plan. This has never been in writing but has been followed consistent for the past 4 + years. This includes picking my kids up every other Friday and dropping them off on Sunday’s. Holidays are always discussed and in the summer we do 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Well my x notified me while I was on my way to pick up the kids that I couldn’t have them until the time the original plan says and that my two weeks has been suspended. I show up to pick up my kids and they are MIA on the day I’ve been picking them up for the past 4 years. Do I have any rights to get my kids on the time we have followed for the past 4 years and do j have rights to get the kids for two weeks on and off in the summer as we have done for the past 4 years? We verbally agree to the summer schedule (start days and finish days) but every year has been consistent for two weeks on and off.
    I really need some advice.

    • Laura Sullins

      It sucks I’m in the same situation with my ex I trusted him and he and his lawyer lied and said that he was representing both of us. Now that I’ve done so much research this is not possible, Whatever is filed with the courts is what you have to go by no matter what verbal agreements you’ve made. I had my daughter Mon-Friday and every other weekend since my ex works nights and then all the sudden he got mad because I asked him to help pay for soccer and forced us to go back to a bogus custody agreement. I’m fighting by filing a motion to modify! You need to document everything and get records of when you saw them whether you get texts confirming pick up and drop off or emails any correspondence. You need to be able to prove that you are active in their lives parent teacher conf school functions. If you can prove all this and you have a stable environment for them then the court will have to at least grant 50/50.

  • BaffledByTheBias

    I am wondering how to file for a Modification in Custody Order NOW while I am waiting for the NYS Appellate Court to hear the original appeals of the final court order?

  • Latisha

    Hello I’m in a bind, I agreed to give joint physical and legal custody to my son’s father and now that my son’s father has started school and works full time he has no time for our son. I asked him of he could change his school schedule and he told me no and said he could only pick our son up 26 weekend a month during his fall semester I said that is not what we agreed upon in court. Our son has also voiced his opinion that he does not want to go to his father’s house anymore stating he sees no reason considering his dad pays no attention to him. What can I do I feel helpless and stupid thinking I was doing the right thing

  • Kimberly White

    After 17 years of marriage, we divorced with 2 small girls. Now, 13 & 14. He had an attorney, I did not since we already agreed on everything. He let our house go into foreclosure taking the girls to a new condo he rented. Since I was a stay home home without income, he sent me to P. S. While he stayed in Mission Viejo, CA. He’s an Electrical Engineer making almost 200,000/yr. I was given 1400./mo and had to wait 6 months before I saw a penny. I had no car to see my kids. After 4 years of misery with seeing my kids so infrequently, I met a man and we began our life together in Newport Beach. When I signed the divorce papers, unbeknownst to me, he changed everything giving himself sole custody and I had visitation every other weekend. I signed without reading since I ‘trusted him’. How can I get my kids back? Or at least 50/50 as we agreed on in the 1st place? Do I have to hire an attorney?

  • Re’Al Faraj

    I filed two separate “motion(s) to modify” in one court for two separate children. Can I introduce the second “motion to modify” to the court during my upcoming scheduled hearing, since I’m addressing the exact same issues in both motions to modify? If so, what do I file to bring it to the court’s attention?

  • Mike

    My ex got an emergency temporary custody order for our daughter in January 2013. I went to prison from jan13 til November 14. We’ve never had a custody hearing on this matter. My question is, is the order still in effect? Or does it expire after a certain time? My ex isn’t letting me see my daughter because she believes the order from 2013 is still valid. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  • Barb

    My daughter lost custody of her daughter and there’s a Appel going on but in the mean time she is suppose to get two Skye visits a week but hasn’t heard from her child in three weeks she is only 5 and has only been with the dad for six months and the mom for five years she crys and wants her mom and asks her to come get her and she is being treated poorly we are so worried about her what can we do please help us

  • Mercedes

    I want to move out of state with my children which i am married to my daughter father we have joint custody but nothing on weither we can move or not and he never comes to see her never helps with any money and i just filed for child support and hes never payed anything to help a day in his life if i move what can happen

  • Mother Stressing

    Please help me:

    I live in Florida I moved her in 2008 but before relocating from Jersey City NJ they appointed physical and residential custody to my daughters father. he has given her to me in 2010 because he told me he didn’t have any help I said that’s find I was stable then he moved down her to Florida in 2011 and we agreed on him taking her on the weekends since she had school during the week or if she was off during the week he could have her whenever but I never gave him a hard time about our child.but when she went on her normal visit on 2/14/2015 everything was normal then that night he told me he wasn’t bringing her back because he still had the temporary residential custody from New jersey since then she has not been in the school I registered her in and I just found out he removed her from that school without informing me and I have been trying to get in contact with him to talk to her and he will not respond to my text and refuse to answer my calls to let me know where they are and what school she is attending. I went to the courts and tried to get help since we have been in Florida for more than 5 yrs and they said it is nothing they can do I called the cops same thing. and then I called back home to Jersey City NJ and found out that he was not suppose to relocate without informing them and that I have to either come up there and do a petition or mail one in but I have to have a current address for him but I don’t even know if he is still in Florida WHAT DO I DO IF NO ONE WILL HELP ME FIND MY DAUGHTER 🙁

  • Stacie

    Can someone please help?!

    I have 2 children. They have different fathers. A year ago i was involved in a very horrific domestic violence incident. My now ex (who is neither of their fathers) of 4 1/2 years almost killed me. Both of my my children were there when it happened because us 3 lived with him. My 12 year old son is the one who ran to the neighbors to get help and my 11 year old son witnessed the entire incident. A few months after this happened my 11 year old sons father came to me and told me that him and his current girlfriend were moving to Florida. They asked me if they could take my son with them for the rest of the summer and told me they would bring him back before school started. Then once my son got down there my son called and asked could he live there. I very quickly said no! Because of the domestic incident with my ex I had lost everything and so me and both of my kids were living with a family member in their one bedroom apartment. Then my family member was told she was being evicted because of me an my kids were living with her but we were not on her lease. So then i was worried that I would have nowhere to live. So that’s when I told my sons father that he could let my son start school in Florida. Now its been 7-8 months and I have been asking for a visit and he keeps making up excuses why I can’t come get him for a week. Now since he won’t just let me have a visit with My son I have decided to bring him back home permanently since I’m now in a stable living arrangement. I have court ordered physical custody And him and I share legal custody. I was told by the sheriffs office in their county that My Maryland custody order has zero jurisdiction in Florida. They told me to file a paper with the court in my county giving permission for the county they live in to intervene. Unfortunately as a single mom I can not afford an attorney to help me with this matter. I just want to know if anyone can tell me how much of a fight can he really put up even tho I have sole physical custody, and he also currently has a warrant here in Baltimore city Maryland for not showing up to our last child support hearing. In which he is over $15,000 in arrears for our child support case. Still with all of this how much of a leg does he really have to stand on in this situation? Am I in for a long ugly battle?? I want to say thank you in advance to whoever replies to my question!

    • VoteThemOut

      You can go to Florida and pick them up from school. If any questions by local law enforcement, have your Maryland court orders in hand and just take your children. The only one who will try to stop you is your EX and he won’t have any paperwork showing he has custody in Florida. If he did go to court and you were never notified you will be in for an extended visit if you want to fight for custody in Florida. You have to be notified of for him to proceed in a child custody case. If he lied to court in Florida then he is in trouble…again. Research the laws in Florida. I am not a lawyer, but I have…been there-done that.

  • Stephanie Etherly

    Advice please…I have had custody of my son (11 yrs old) for the last 9 years. My son’s mom and I never were married and she had substance abuse problems when he was younger and that is how I got full custody. His mom did not see him for many years. However, I continued to help my son have a relationship with his mom’s parents. My question: I was served papers for modification and I thought I filled out everything that was served to me and turned them in, but then in the mail the papers were returned stating they were incomplete? When I received them back my 30 days to reply are now over what do I do? I am heading to the court house tomorrow to see what I can do, but I am worried that I will have no say in what happens to my son 11 yrs old (no trial date has been set)…who really wants nothing to do with his biological mother (I’ve tried for the last 6 months to help them build a relationship, but it has done more negative than positive). Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Claudia

    What can i do if my husband had custody of our kids when we divorced but i married him again how can i get rid of the court order

  • Carl

    My son who is almost 8 has had the same schedule since he was an infant. He comes to my house every weekend fri through Monday. My ex is now trying to file a patenting plan only allowing him to visit every other weekend and completely taking all the schedules we’ve made for Holidays away as well. She has no reasone for doing so orher then she’s crazy and just wants him more. Im getting an attorney but don’t meet with one till next week. But Im just curious if anyone knows of a judge will allow changing a child’s routine like that?

  • MsJune Gemini

    My daughters father has requested yet another modification in the amount of support her pays monthly. It was lowered to barely $100 when she was 8 now she’s 15 and he wants it lowered again because she doesn’t want to go to his house so he feels like he doesn’t have to take care of her. The part I’m questioning is at this point that she’s a teenager and her things are becoming more and more expensive, will the courts grant that? Not to mention when the motion was filed he didn’t fill out the paperwork and sign his name, he had someone else do it. There is no space on the paper that says client representative so would that document be considered forged?

  • Nichoel

    I’m the custodial parent, and my ex-boyfriend just gets our now 10 year old daughter when he can. Usually, only during the summer. We are both married to other people, now. He lives in GA, and I live in FL. When she went to stay with her dad for his 4 weeks of summer, this past year, she asked to come back a week early, which her dad was angry about, because he didn’t want to make the 4 hour drive so soon. So out of spite, a cew days before me and my husband agreed to make the 4 hour trip to come get her, he asked her if she would like her hair cut real short (because he knew it would upset me, and she has had it long since she was 2 years old). After asking her for 2 days, she finally agreed. When I got her, it was very late at night. I didn’t notice it, and he didn’t mention that he had her hair cut. When I checked on her sleeping I the back seat, later, I saw it was cut. I was very angry and emotional. I held my piece, tho. Later on, it was told to me that he took pictures of her hair cut, and stated, “Her momma’s gonna be pissed”, and that angered me. Our court paper states that I get all the decision making. I was very upset about her alteration in her appearance, because I was trying to keep her hair long, and he knew that. My question: Is he legally allowed to alter our daughter’s appearance, whenever he gets upset at me, even though he has nothing to do with her 11 months out of the year? He doesn’t even call her but like twice a year.

  • Nichoel

    I’m the custodial parent, and my ex-boyfriend just gets our now 10 year old daughter when he can. Usually, only during the summer. We are both married to other people, now. He lives in GA, and I live in FL. When she went to stay with her dad for his 4 weeks of summer, this past year, she asked to come back a week early, which her dad was angry about, because he didn’t want to make the 4 hour drive so soon. So out of spite, a few days before my husband and I agreed to make the 4 hour trip to come get her, he asked her if she would like her hair cut real short (because he knew it would upset me, and she has had it long since she was 2 years old). After asking her for 2 days, she finally agreed. When I got her, it was very late at night. I didn’t notice it, and he didn’t mention that he had her hair cut. Later, when I checked on her sleeping in the back seat, I saw it was cut. I was very angry and emotional. I held my piece, though. Later on, it was told to me that he took pictures of her hair cut, and stated, “Her momma’s gonna be pissed”, and that angered me. Our court paper states that I get all the decision making. I was very upset about her alteration in her appearance, because I was trying to keep her hair long, and he knew that. My question: Is he legally allowed to alter our daughter’s appearance, whenever he gets upset at me and when she’s with him, even though he has nothing to do with her 11 months out of the year? He doesn’t even call her but like twice a year.

  • Emily

    My ex husband signed a parenting plan where he retains no physical custody, has equal educational and medical rights. The parenting plan states that our daughter has the right to refuse visits and she has since January of 2016. He is now saying he has talked to a lawyer and a judge saying he can get 50/50 custody. Our daughter will be 16 in May. She does not want to live with him, his new wife and her 6 kids. He has been emotionally abusive, one time was physically abusive, and their relationship has been extremely poor since about 3rd grade. Would a court actually change it to 50/50. Nothing on my end has changed. I am concerned about this, think it is just a threat, but he has certainly done so many unexpected things that I am not sure what he would do.

  • Michelle Ledesma

    I have been divorced for 4 yrs now. My ex gets to claim to of our 3 children . He is supposed to pay 70% of medical and childcare. I get 240 a month for child support he does not pay child care nor medical being that we are self employed and my kids are approved for access medical and my family help out when it comes to childcare . He also currently lives with his parents and pays no rent or utilities. I have asked to be allowed to claim 1 other child so we both get 2 every other year. Instead he says no I can’t because he pays child support even though he dont pay for rent utilities of medical or childcare. This seems beyond unfair to me what can I do?

  • JD

    HELP… my husband was awarded sole custody of his 13 year old son in sept 2016. Mom has supervised visits once per month for 1 hour. For the past year Mom has been wrapped up in drugs, homeless and it facing a felony drug charge. She hasnt seen my step son in a year and barley calls to talk. Apparently now she is a changed person. Has a job and attorney. is off drugs and is back on track. I am wondering.. can she take us to court to get the order modified? What are the chances a judge will change anything? We are in texas.

  • amanda

    I really need help here!!! Long story short right now, my ex husband and i have a custody order out of the state of alaska. I live in virginia and he lives in texas. He is the primary custodian. He is also active duty military. In august of 2016 he told me that he volunteered for a year long remote tour in turkey. he told me that there was a posibility that he was going to have the kids (we have three 12, 10, and 8) come and live with me next school year (2017/2018). He then found out that he would not be getting his base of preference while he was deployed and would be later stationed somewhere else after he returned from deployment. He left this past Feb. and will be there until Feb. of 2018. While he is deployed he has deemed his wife, my kids step mom in charge of them in texas until he returns and has decided to take it upon himself to keep things the way that they are which are that the kids are with him during the school year and that they are with me during all school breaks, christmas, spring and summer. While I understand not wanting to take them out of school this current school year I do feel that when they come out for summer break that they should remain with me and being the new school year here with me rather then going back to their step mother. They have expressed not wanting to stay with her or even go back to their dads house until he returns. What are my options considering he is deployed right now? I am their mother and there is no reason for them to be with a step parent over one of their actual parents during this already emotional time frame.

  • Teresa

    My husband has two boys 5 and 8. We are going to court with the boys mom in two weeks. They have 50/50 joint legal custody. She wants to be able to move within the state of Minnesota and take the boys with her. The agreement 3 years ago made it so if one parent wants to move, the kids stay in this town and they stay at the school they are going to now. The parent that moves would get them during summer time and every other weekend and holidays. The mother wants to relocate the children to a different town and school. Is there a chance she could move them when there is already an agreement in the decree?
    I don’t think that would be in the best interest of the children being bounced around different towns and schools. Our lawyer said there is a chance she could because they are young, but because of the agreement made years ago there’s a chance she could not do that.

  • Daisy

    Legally speaking can my ex partner do a name change in my son’s school if I have full custody of our child ? we live in California, please help!

  • Racheal

    Almost two years ago i gave custody to my aunt i was in a bad place at the time .. The agreement was i get my life on track and i get her back .. This was a verbal agreement .. I am doing very well and getting back on my feet … I gave her custody in pa but she lives down south .. I have done everything she asked me to do and bettering my life .. But she keeps making up dumb reasons why im not getting my daughter back its childish .. I am about to go get a child modification form .. Where the custody was signed over .. Will i be able to fight in the county that i signed her over in or will the jurisdiction move to down south since it has been almost two years .. My aunt has money and i really dont .. So i do not have the expenses to keep flying down their for court … I was told atleast our first hearing would be where we signed over custody then it goes from their .. I have alot of ducks in a row and ready to fight for my child back .. She is i years old .. Some say leave it in gods hands you will get her back when your are supose to .. Some say fight now dont wait to long.. I Am her mother i am very well able to care for my child .. What are my chances .. Does any one have advice … And where the jurisdiction will reside ????

  • hhhh4444

    please read my tweets as I am being abused financially, emotionally, verbally. Threatened with court procedures unless I get back with him. I have audio and texts that show the ultimatums given. They now have they’re third attorney while I can’t afford any. I’ve kept everything, all logs, audio. Just need to present in a way a judge doesn’t shut me up. (Divorced 12 years now)