Once your child custody case is settled, the court will issue a permanent custody order. Even though the order is considered permanent, it can be changed for a legitimate reason. There are several reasons a custody order needs modifications, including a change in living arrangements or a parent’s refusal to adhere to its terms. Here are some things to know about your child custody arrangement if you’re a Virginia resident.
Talk to the child’s other parent
If you want to make modifications to the custody order, you should talk to your child’s other parent before consulting with a judge or attorney. If you can both agree, you can make the appropriate changes and file the custody order with the court for the judge to accept. This reduces the amount of time it takes to make changes to the custody order.
If you’re not able to reach an agreement about modifications with your child’s other parent or there’s a restraining order that prohibits you from contacting the other parent, you should take the custody case to court to settle any disputes and make the necessary changes to the custody order. However, in most cases, it’s usually best to come to a peaceful agreement about how your child should be cared for.
File a petition
If you and your ex can’t agree on child custody modifications, you should file a petition to make changes to the order. Before filing the petition, make sure you know which specific changes you want to make and why you want to make them.
Simply asking for more parenting time isn’t enough. For instance, you should know whether you want visitation for the entire summer instead of just weekend visitation or if you want physical custody if you’re moving to another city or state.