A client recently came to Wallin & Klarich with a child custody issue where her children were being neglected by their father. The client and the father had previous court orders from a divorce where the father would have primary physical custody and our client had minimal visitation. However, the client was seeking a modification of child custody orders.
Shortly after the orders were made, the parties verbally agreed that our client would have primary physical custody without a court order. Our client had the children in her care for more than three years before the biological father decided to exercise his custodial rights by calling the police at an exchange.
Because the court orders stated that the father had primary physical custody, the police placed the children in his care. Our client turned to us to file a request for emergency (or ex-parte order) for primary physical custody of her children. The children were in her care for three years and were now being neglected by the father.
Modification of Child Custody after a Final Judgment
After final custody orders have been made in a divorce or paternity case, it can be very difficult to change that custody order. In order to do so, the moving party must show that there has been a significant change of circumstances to justify a modification of the custody orders. Changed circumstances could include, but are not limited to the following:
- The well-being of the minor children is being threatened due to child abuse or neglect by one or both of the parents;
- If one or both parents has drug or alcohol dependency issues;
- One or both parents has a new family;
- One or both parents relocate making it difficult to comply with the current court orders;
- One or both parents have scheduling conflicts with work or school that make it difficult to exercise their parental rights.
Our client was alleging a significant change in circumstances as the children had been in her care for more than three years with minimal contact from the father. Further, when the children came to her house for her visitation period, they were often dirty, hungry, and told stories of how their father would lock them in their room and would not even allow them to come out to use the restroom. The children were being neglected and abused by the father so we had grounds to file an ex-parte request to change custody.
Ex-Parte Request to Modify Child Custody Orders
We filed an ex-parte request to modify child custody orders so that our client would have primary physical custody with supervised visitation only for the father as he had neglected the children. In preparation for the hearing, we submitted a declaration of our client and attached school records and pictures of the children after they had come home from being in the care of their father to show the neglect and abuse.
We appeared at the hearing, our client was granted temporary primary physical custody of the children, and the father was granted supervised visitation. The father did not exercise his supervised visitation with the children, so the court made these orders permanent at the next court hearing. Our client was ecstatic at the outcome.
Call a Riverside Child Custody Attorney Today
If you are involved in a child custody battle, it is very important that you speak with one of our experienced Riverside child custody attorneys. Our family law attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling child custody matters and possess the knowledge of the law and attention to detail necessary to help you obtain the most favorable result possible in your case.
With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville, and Ventura, we are always available, wherever you happen to live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.