Things change, and so can you and your ex’s circumstances. Maybe one of you remarries, moves away or gets sick. Whatever the change, you may need to modify your child’s custody order if the existing one no longer works for you or your child. In Ohio, you can ask the court to modify the order if there has been a substantial change in your or your child’s circumstances and you prove that the modification is in the child’s best interests.
Modifying the order
Both you or your ex can file a motion with the court to request a modification in your child’s custody order. However, the court can only modify an existing order if the child’s or parents’ circumstances change substantially. There would be a substantial change in the circumstances if:
- A parent remarries
- A parent develops a drug or alcohol dependency problem
- A parent abuses or mistreats the child
- A parent moves away
- A parent gets very sick
- A parent can no longer take care of the child due to a physical or mental condition
The court will modify the order if there has been a substantial change since they issued the original order and if the modification is in the child’s best interests.
Changing physical custody
When the court changes an existing custody order, the previous order’s residential parent keeps the child’s physical custody. However, the child’s placement can change if it is in their best interests. Also, one of the following must apply to change the child’s residence:
- The residential parent agrees to a change
- The child, with the consent of the residential parent, has integrated into the family of the person who wishes to become the new residential parent
- The advantages of the child changing residence are more significant than the disadvantages
The court will only allow the change of the residential parent if one of these conditions applies.
A needed change
If the court approves the change, the new custody order will replace the former one. To make the change, one or both parents must file the motion in the same county where they got the existing order. If the court does not approve the change, you have the right to appeal their decision. You want what is best for your child, and you have the right to fight for it.