Modification of Child Custody in New York

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Child custody agreements are a crucial part of the divorce process when a married couple with children makes the decision to terminate their marriage. The decisions of a custody agreement will systematically determine which parent has legal custody, physical custody, or full custody of the child or children involved in the divorce.

Many factors are assessed before ruling on a matter as sensitive as child custody, including circumstances of age, mental capacity, physical health, emotional bond, lifestyle choice, quality of education, child preference, and more. However, no matter how thoroughly a case is reviewed and no matter how much attention is paid to the conditions of any ending marriage there is always the possibility that the terms of an established custody agreement will not be sufficient enough to remain pertinent to a parent’s circumstances months or years after the divorce and custody have been finalized.

As with the original formation of a custody agreement, the courts will always judge modifications in light of what is best for the child or children involved. Therefore, modifications to custody agreements are generally approved when it can be proven that the change will be for the betterment of the children. It must be proven that a substantial change in circumstance has occurred which now calls for medication of the previously determined terms and conditions of a custody agreement.

Substantial changes could include a geographic move or a change in lifestyle such as a new job or development of drug or alcohol abuse. These are circumstances that will need to be brought before the court and substantially proven in order to obtain the modification. As such, these are also circumstances that will require the support and guidance of New York divorce attorney.


Sometimes the need for modification of a child custody agreement is only felt on behalf of one parent. In these instances, the issues that arise as attempt at a custody change is underway could be as volatile as that of a contested divorce. When only one parent feels that change is necessary, they must file a written request (known as a motion) to the court asking for approval of the modification. Again, a substantial change in circumstance will need to be proven before the court will willingly make changes to an existing court order. Therefore, the need for a divorce lawyer intensifies even more in cases in which parents are of opposing opinions as to the need for child custody modification.

At the law office of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. you can rely on the steadfast services of our legal team. We understand that the time surrounding a divorce is often one of high stress, and sometimes negotiations are made and settlements are reached which prove effective for only a very limited time. Therefore, we have taken the steps necessary to ensure that we are prepared to help parents seek and effect change to their custody agreements when modification is necessary.

Learn more about how we can be of help. Contact a New York divorce lawyer from our firm today.

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