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Four strategies to defend against a custody modification

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Family Law

Although some child custody orders work in the long-term, many of them need revisiting over time. As circumstances change, you and your child’s other parent might be able to negotiate a custody modification that works for everyone. In those instances, you just need to submit the agreement to the court to obtain the judge’s approval before it becomes final.

But when agreement can’t be reached and the other parent seeks to restrict your access to your child, you need to be prepared for a battle. After all, a custody modification that leaves you with less time with your kid can cause significant harm to your relationship with them. So, if a motion to modify custody or visitation has been filed in your case, then you need to start building a strategy to defend yourself against the request.

How can you defend yourself against a child custody modification request?

The specific approach that you take will depend on the arguments that the other parent makes against you. However, there’s a good chance that their motion will specify that there’s been a substantial change in circumstances that are probably focused on your parenting abilities or lack thereof. So, as you prepare to head to court to litigate the motion, consider doing the following:

  • Contextualize the other parent’s argument: The other parent might use social media posts, text messages, and your own statements as evidence to show some sort of parental deficiency. However, these pictures and statements are often taken out of context, making you look worse than you actually are. Make sure you have evidence that contextualizes the other parent’s arguments so that the court can see them for what they really are.
  • Shift the focus to the other parent: Although the motion to modify is focused on your actions and behavior, you can shift the focus to the other parent’s issues to show the court that the proposed modification isn’t in your child’s best interests. Taking this approach may even cause the court to modify the existing custody order in a way that grants you even more time with your child.
  • Present contradictory evidence: Sometimes the arguments used to support a modification request are just plain false. But if you don’t set the record straight in court, then the judge might buy into what the other parent argues. So, be armed with contradictory evidence so that you and your child don’t end up suffering from lies that are told in court.
  • Use discovery to your advantage: The discovery process is used to learn what information is possessed by the other side. You can request documentation, ask the other parent to admit to certain facts, or depose witnesses ahead of court. These tactics can give you insight into the other parent’s argument, and it might give you ammunition to attack witness credibility or the viability of the proposed modification.

There may be other ways for you to effectively defend against a modification request. Just be sure to fully analyze the facts of your case and the legal tools at your disposal to fight back against any allegations made against you.

Do you need help with your child custody dispute?

If so, then be sure to seek out the answers to any lingering questions that you might have. By doing so, you could find the support that you need to get through this tough time while protecting your child’s best interests and your time and relationship with them.