Child custody arrangements aren’t always set in stone. Parents in Maryland may have an initial arrangement that outlines the terms of the custody agreement. However, circumstances can change in a moment, and parents may need to appeal for a modification of the original order.
If you’re in this situation, you may be wondering if you should request a child custody modification. Following are a few reasons that may call for a modification.
Your child is in danger
Since the court’s primary concern is to ensure that your child’s best interests are considered, child endangerment will always be a compelling reason for a judge to consider a modification. Behaviors that could call for child custody modification include:
- Physical, sexual, emotional or other forms of abuse
- Putting the child in danger of abuse either intentionally or by failing to act
- Substance abuse issues that put the child at risk of harm or neglect
- Mental health problems that prevent a parent from taking care of the child
One or both parents move
If you or your ex physically relocate, moving won’t automatically be grounds for modification. The court may evaluate whether the relocation could have a significant effect on your child. A judge may also factor if a change in custody would be necessary to ensure a stable and caring environment for the child.
A parent is refusing to follow custody terms
Whether you agreed to the initial child custody and child support agreement, or the judge decided on the terms for you, you and your ex have to follow the order. If your ex is refusing to comply with the terms, the court may grant a modification.
Where can you turn to for help with a child custody issue?
If you’re facing a child custody issue, the best time to take action is now. A lawyer may be able to help you understand your rights better.