Determining a child custody agreement can be a complex process because it can be difficult to satisfy all of the parties involved. Even after a child custody order is agreed upon, circumstances can change for either the parents or the child, and the child custody orders will need to be modified.
It is important to understand that judgments for child custody are never final. If you need to modify a child custody order, it is critical to have an experienced family law attorney who can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
Modifying Your Child Custody Order
After a child custody order is granted by a judge, you may want to modify the order for various reasons. To modify a child custody order, you must show that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the initial custody order was made and a new agreement is needed. The judge will only modify the child custody order if doing so would be in the best interest of your child.
You or your former spouse’s living arrangements with another person may qualify as a “change in circumstances.”
New Roommates and Modifying Child Custody Orders (Family Code 3011)
If you or your former spouse has a new roommate, either you or the other parent can file a petition to modify the child custody order to allow or disallow the new living situation. The family court’s decision will be based on whether or not living with the new roommate is in the best interest of your child under California Family Code Section 3011.
Under California Family Code Section 3011, the judge will consider:
- The health, safety and welfare of your child;
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by you, the other parent and the roommate;
- The nature and amount of contact your child has with you, the other parent, and the roommate;
- The age of your child;
- The ability of all parties to care for the child;
- The emotional relationship between the child and either parent;
- The duration and adequacy of your child’s living arrangements;
- Where your child goes to school; and
- Your child’s involvement in the community.
All of these factors will be addressed and evaluated by the court to determine the best interest of the child. Some common examples of these factors which can greatly influence the court’s decision are:
- The roommate smokes cigarettes;
- The roommate abuses drugs or alcohol;
- The roommate has a criminal history (i.e. arrests, warrants, restraining orders, convictions, etc.); or
- The roommate has lost prior children due to abuse or neglect.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you need to modify a child custody order, it is critical that you speak to an experienced family law attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully handling child custody cases in California. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich family law attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.