How to Defend a San Diego Child Custody Modification Request
This is the next post in my series discussing how San Diego residents can modify existing California child custody orders. My last post explained the Court’s process when one parent requests a child custody modification. In today’s post I will be discussing how a parent who opposes a modification request can defend their position.
An opposing parent has the ability to explain their position during a California custody modification hearing
When two parents cannot agree to modify an existing custody order then the parent who wants a change is able to put in a Request to the Court. If the Request has merit, meaning the parent is able to claim that a legitimate change in circumstances has occurred, then a hearing date is set. The other parent will also be served with pleadings informing them of the upcoming hearing. These pleadings explain the claimed change in circumstance and why the parent believes a modification is in the child’s best interest. The opposing parent is then able to file a response. Both parents will be given the opportunity to make their case at the hearing.
If a parent opposes a change to the child custody order and is served with paperwork then it is important they contact a California attorney right away. The response time will be fairly short so it is important to take action as soon as you are served. Your attorney will discuss with you your reasons for opposing a modification, and write your response in a way that supports your thought process. Your attorney will then begin to gather evidence to present to the Judge at the modification request hearing.
Evidence will be presented at the modification hearing to support your opposition
The evidence your attorney will present at the modification hearing will depend on the reason behind the modification request and your reason for opposing the request. Your attorney will seek to present evidence that a change is not in the child’s best interests. Examples of evidence might be to present evidence that your ex is not utilizing current visitation, is not stable to have joint custody, does not take an active role in the child’s life, or is in some way would not benefit the child by having a larger role in their life. Once all evidence is presented, then a Judge will make a decision one way or another regarding the custody modification, and the Order will stand until a new change in circumstance occurs.
If you have been served papers informing you that your ex is requesting a modification to the custody order, you have a limited amount of time to respond to the request. Contact our San Diego family law office today to review your legal options.