How Do I Modify a Child Custody Order in New York?

Posted By Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer || 27-Nov-2013

As you may know, life is full of unexpected events. It is for this reason that you may now be faced with the need to modify or alter your current child custody arrangement. Even if you and your spouse had come to an agreement about the terms of your child's upbringing at the time of your divorce, things may have changed, making it necessary to reevaluate the situation. Fortunately, the conditions of your divorce are not set in stone. The courts of New York State continue to have jurisdiction over the issue of child custody until a child attains the age of 18 years old. With the help of a Suffolk County divorce attorney from the Rubenfeld Law Firm, you can petition the court for a modification; however, it is important to understand that you must have a valid reason to do so.

Simply wanting to spend more time with your child is, unfortunately, not a legitimate reason to petition for a modification. Rather, you must be able to show that there has been a significant change in circumstances, which has subsequently affected your existing child custody arrangement. Although this can encompass a wide number of situations, some of the most common include:

  • One parent wants to move away with the child
  • One parent has neglected or abused the child
  • One parent has an alcohol or substance abuse problem
  • One parent has become physically or mentally disabled
  • One parent's relationship with the child has changed
  • One parent can no longer provide for the child

Wondering if you have reasonable grounds to petition the court for a child custody modification? Find out by discussing your case with the Suffolk County divorce lawyers at Rubenfeld Law Firm. When you call our office at (631) 777-7200 or submit a case evaluation form online, your initial consultation won't cost you a thing! For this reason, you would have nothing to lose by taking the first step today.