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Can noncompliance with a custody order trigger its modification?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Child Custody

For a custody arrangement to work successfully, it is essential for both parents to follow the terms set in the order. Failure to follow these terms can prompt a reassessment of the initial custody order. This is to ensure the child’s welfare remains top priority.

A potential prompt but not an automatic trigger

While a parent’s noncompliance with a custody order can potentially lead to its modification, it will not automatically set off the modification. Instead, when one parent does not comply with the terms set out in a custody order, the other parent may request the court to re-evaluate the existing arrangement.

Accordingly, the court may modify the custody order to limit the noncompliant parent’s custody or visitation rights because of their failure to follow the terms. The ultimate determinative factor is whether their noncompliance negatively affects the child’s best interests, under which the custody order is based on.

Hearing both sides

If a petition to modify the custody order due to a parent’s noncompliance is filed, the court will review the case and allow both parents to present their arguments and evidence. The judge will then assess the situation and determine whether the noncompliance is significant enough to warrant a change in the custody arrangement.

Looking at the bigger picture

Noncompliance with custody terms, among many factors, can indeed trigger a review of the existing order, potentially leading to modifications. Courts prioritize the child’s best interests and may adjust terms to uphold them.

If your coparent fails to adhere to the custody arrangement set in the order, you may explore your remedies, including bringing a contempt for non-compliance. Determining which path you should take will depend on the results of evaluating what is best for you and your child. Hence, a meticulous review of the factors and circumstances surrounding your case is vital.