Butler, Thiessen & Metzinger, Inc.

Focused, Dedicated, Determined since 1986 209-390-8829


Family Law


Property Division




Child Custody & Visitation

Butler, Thiessen & Metzinger | Family Law Specialists

Focused, Dedicated, Determined since 1986

When can you modify your child custody agreement?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Child Custody |

Following your divorce, the court hands down its final judgment regarding the custody of your child. As time goes on, however, you might feel that a change in circumstances warrants or even necessitates a modification to the existing child custody agreement.

You might feel that a positive change in your lifestyle earns you more time with your child, or there might be a new development that demands the other parent to assume more parenting responsibility. Either way, the question remains of when you can actually modify your custody order.

When can you request a change to a custody order?

There is no strict timeframe regarding when you can or cannot request a modification to your California custody order, rather you must simply file the appropriate forms. If you discuss the potential change with your co-parent and come to an agreement, you can negotiate a new parenting plan together and submit it to the court. Should your ex-spouse disagree with your proposal, you can petition the court if there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrants a modification.

What circumstances are grounds for a custody order modification?

If you want more time with your child, a significant increase in your income is often valid grounds for proving that you are capable of providing quality care. Alternatively, professional circumstances or military deployment might entail a large-scale relocation, giving you a valid case for suggesting that your co-parent might take on more parenting time.

The court does not take the modification of a child custody order lightly. While you are free to request a change at any time, the reasons for doing so must be significant.