Montgomery County Custody Modification & Enforcement Lawyer
When the court finalizes a child custody order, the family law judge accepts that the parties have considered changes that will likely occur as the child grows, and these changes are adequately addressed in the custody agreement and parenting plan. However, there are times when things change, and the old custody agreement is no longer valid. When that occurs, what do you do now? How do you change the court order? What if only one parent wants a change to the agreement, and the other parent is against it? Learn more about how to modify a custody order in Pennsylvania by contacting a Montgomery County modification & enforcement lawyer, like the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane.
What Do You Need to Modify a Pennsylvania Custody Order?
All custody decisions made by Pennsylvania courts take into account what the best interests of your children are. That doesn’t change when you are asking for a modification. The legal requirements say that if someone petitions the court to have the order changed, the judge has the discretion to modify it if it serves the children’s best interests.
Planning for potential changes as your child grows is an integral part of a solid parenting plan. However, there are times when things change that neither of you anticipated. When that happens, modifying a child custody order may be the best scenario. Ideally, parents can work together to submit a modified proposal to the judge. The judge will review the petition and decide whether to approve the requested modification. You should never deviate from the custody order without first going through court. Otherwise, any changes will not be enforceable, and your ex could deny the agreement and claim you aren’t complying with the court order.
Montgomery child custody lawyer Lauren H. Kane can help you, and your co-parent draft appropriate changes to the existing custody order and then resubmit it for the judge’s approval. In the event you cannot agree on the modification, one parent may need to litigate the matter. The court will set a hearing to listen to arguments on why the modification should or should not be granted.
What Happens When a Parent Doesn’t Comply with the Custody Order?
Custody orders can be enforced when one parent isn’t complying. Pennsylvania law says that when the court awards custody, the court will specify the terms and conditions in enough detail to enforce the court’s order through law enforcement officers.
The court may charge one party with contempt of court for not complying with the order. Any parent who willfully fails to comply could be found in contempt and will face punishment, such as:
- Up to $500 in fines
- Up to six months’ probation
- Up to six months in prison
- Denial, non-renewal, or suspension of driver’s license
Or any combination of these. Parties who are found to be in contempt of court may also be paying the other party’s attorney fees and court costs.
How to Handle a Custody Relocation?
If one of you wants to move far away and it affects the non-custodial parent’s ability to exercise their rights, the moving parent will need to go to court to have the relocation approved. If the non-relocating parent consents, the court will sign off on the move by revising the existing order. If the spouse does, then the court will need to schedule a hearing.
Contact a Pennsylvania Custody Modification or Enforcement Lawyer
If you need assistance with modifying or enforcing a child custody order, let a Montgomery family law attorney help. Contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane today to schedule an initial consultation.