When you have an existing child custody order in place in Louisiana, you may, at some point, wish to modify that agreement for one reason or another. Maybe you wish to spend more time with your child than you currently do and you have recently moved to make this geographically possible. Perhaps you have concerns about the quality of care your child receives when he or she is with the other parent, and you believe that spending more time in your home would be in your child’s best interests. Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to change your current child custody arrangement, there are certain steps you must take in order to initiate the process.
First, you need to recognize whether you have a valid reason for requesting the change to your current custody agreement. To be successful in your pursuit of a child custody modification, you need to demonstrate to the court that a substantial change in your circumstances has occurred that warrants the custody change.
Gathering what you need
When you request to make a change to your child custody arrangement, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the court that issued your original order and pay any fees that may apply. Once you learn when your court date will be, you can begin gathering witnesses who can attend and argue on your behalf about why the substantial change in your circumstances warrants a child custody modification. Remember to arrive early and dress professionally on your court date, and you will also want to make sure you have a copy of your current custody judgment with you for reference.
Ultimately, you can expect that the court will make child custody modification decisions after considering what would be in the best interests of your child. For the court to approve a child custody modification, you will need to prove that the change in your life or circumstances is one that will, in the end, prove advantageous for your child.