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Parenting Time

4 Reasons Why a Judge May Modify a Parenting Time Order

Child custody orders typically result from a divorce settlement. While these legal orders seem final, they are not always set in stone.

If the circumstances of your life—or the life of your ex-spouse—change, a judge may decide to modify the parenting time order. To modify the parameters of child custody, one parent must request the change, and a judge must agree.

Below, we will discuss four of the most common reasons the court may decide to change a parenting time order. Generally, judges will change a child custody order if there is a substantial change in the family’s circumstances and the modification is in the child’s best interests.

The court has full discretion over how they change the parenting time order. Typical reasons for changing child custody include:


If the custodial parent moves, the other party can contact the court to request a change. The court will consider the specific factors of the move.

Usually, the court will provide an adjusted order if the move:

  • Substantially burdens the noncustodial parent in the current schedule
  • Has a significant impact on the life of the child

Moving is not guaranteed to qualify as a reason to alter a parenting time order.

Different Needs of the Child

As the child ages, and their needs change, it may constitute a reason for custody modification. For example, one parent may attempt to make a case to the court that their home is a better fit for the child’s current needs.

If the child develops any of the following, it may qualify the family for a change to the parenting time order:

  • Mental health issues
  • Physical disorders
  • Emotional problems

The development of a health-related issue can drastically change a child’s needs. One parent may be better suited to care for the child in these cases. A judge will consider whether the child’s needs have changed sufficiently to justify adjusting the custody.

The Child Is Facing Danger

The child’s interests are always the priority when deciding on a parenting time order. If one parent is putting the child in danger, a judge will likely change the custody arrangement.

The following behaviors qualify as endangerment:

  • Physical, emotional, or psychological abuse
  • Drug or alcohol abuse that is dangerous to the child
  • Unstable behavior, psychotic breaks, and other mental health issues

If the child is in immediate danger, it is important to contact the local police. Then, file a custody modification request as soon as possible.

The Parent’s Situation Has Changed Significantly

If one parent’s life situation changes drastically, it may serve as grounds for a custody modification. Qualifying life changes can be negative or positive.

If you believe you have grounds to request a parenting time order change, reach out to a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Contact Gucciardo Family Law

If you are hoping to modify a custody order, it is critical to speak with a skilled legal professional. The accomplished attorneys at Gucciardo Family Law have plenty of experience helping families successfully resolve their legal issues.

Contact our firm today for a free 30-minute legal consultation.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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