By Sara Pitcher
Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer
Before filing for a child custody modification, it is important to document in a journal all interactions with your child and any interactions you have with your ex-wife that you feel are indicators the custody arrangement should be changed.
Once you have kept the calendar or journal for some time, this can be used to support your claims that child custody should be modified and your child should live with you.
Upon filing a Petition to Modify Child Custody, the court will likely be interested in seeing a pattern of behavior.
Each judge has discretion and there is no way to predict what the specific judge in your case would require before ordering a modification of custody other than what is listed in your state’s child custody laws.
There are many facts that the court will consider in reviewing whether the physical custody order of the court should be modified. The factors vary by state, but in general, include:
1. the age and sex of the child;
2. the wishes of the child’s parents;
3. the wishes of the child, with more consideration being given to a child at least 14 years of age;
4. the interaction and interrelationship of the with the parents, siblings, and anyone else who may significantly impact the child’s best interests;
5. the child’s adjustments to home, school, and community;
6. the mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
7. evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent; or
8. evidence that the child has been cared for by another individual acting as a de facto custodian.
The court may also order the custodian obtain counseling for the child under such terms as the court considers appropriate upon the motion of either party.
Your best recourse would be to seek out immediate legal assistance from a mens divorce attorney who focuses on domestic litigation.