North Carolina parents may ask that their current child custody agreements be modified. Modification requests are generally considered and approved if they are no longer meeting the best interests of the child. A parent may need to show that the child is in immediate danger or that the custodial parent is not following through with the terms of a visitation agreement.
To determine if a child is in danger, the court may consider whether the child is hesitant to spend time in a parent’s home. When deciding whether to change a custody order because of noncompliance with a visitation schedule, a judge may look to see if there has been communication between the parents. A judge may also look to see if there is a valid reason why the schedule has not been followed. Another reason why a child custody order could be modified is that one or both parents have moved.
Generally, an order can be changed if the move would render the current order impractical to abide by. It can also be changed if the parent who is relocating is not acting in good faith by doing so. Finally, a court could modify a custody order if a parent dies. In such a scenario, the noncustodial parent can receive full custody of the child.
The best interests of the child always take precedence when determining the status of a custody order. An attorney may help a parent decide if asking for a modification is worth pursuing. In some cases, an attorney may help a mother or father compel the other parent to adhere to a visitation schedule or other terms of the arrangement. In some cases, parents will agree to modify a custody order on their own before seeking formal approval from a judge.